140 lakes crying for rejuvenation
Puttenahalli lake is among the best examples of lake rejuvination projects in Bangalore, a civic initiative supported by authorities.
Mohan Kumar B N | DNA
Civic bodies in the city have a long way to go in rejuvenating the lakes, most of which are virtually dying, in the city. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) are spending crores of rupees to develop the lakes, however ,their efforts are too little. About 140 lakes are still crying for immediate action for rejuvenation as the city is heading for a disaster in terms of meeting its water needs.
The state government had identified 183 lakes in the city limits for rejuvenation. But BBMP and BDA managed to develop not even half the lakes coming under city limits. In the last three years, the BBMP spent `62.45 crore to develop 19 lakes.The state government had asked the BDA to develop the remaining 123 lakes in a phased manner.
In the first phase, the BDA developed 12 lakes spread over a total area of 766.33 acres. In the second and third phase, 32 and 78 lakes measuring over 4200 acres will be taken up for rejuvenation.
An higher officer of BDA said, “In the first phase, BDA had taken up development work of 13 lakes by earmarking `90.13 crore, out of which `87.50 crore have been spent by developing 12 lakes. Rejuvenation work of one more lake is under progress. We are yet to receive the monetary assistance from the state government to develop other lakes in the phased manner. As of now, the BDA is spending money from its own budget.”
When asked about eviction of lakes which are identified for rejuvenation, the official said, “We have no power to evict the encroachers. The revenue department hands over the lakes after taking action against the encroaches. Before commencement of development, we fence the lakes’ boundaries. In the second phase, we have taken measures to fence 15 odd lake boundaries and for the rest of the lakes, tenders have been processed.”
On the other hand, in the last three years , BBMP has spent `62.45 crore to develop 19 lakes. Major portion of the money was spent to develop Yelahanka lake measuring over 290 acres.
Across the state, through minor irrigation department, the government has developed 4248 lakes. Majority of the developmental have works have been taken up in the financial 2011-12 and 2012-13.
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