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Audience vie to be heard, fire a volley of questions

DH News Service, Bengaluru, May 28 2017, 1:56 IST

DH Spotlight: Experts, officials discuss solutions for Bellandur, Varthur lakes

 Odette Katrak, an activist from Bellandur. DH image.

Odette Katrak, an activist from Bellandur. DH image.

The third edition of ‘Deccan Herald Spotlight’ on Saturday saw the audience vying for a chance to fire questions at members of the panel.

Odette Katrak, an activist from Bellandur, asked BDA Member Engineer P N Nayak how does the agency plan to clean lakes without a proper solid waste management system. While Nayak said the BDA was working as per the suggestions of the expert committee, Leo Saldanha intervened to note that ward committees should be given powers and held accountable for maintenance of solid water drains.

Subba Rao, who came from Hyderabad to attend the programme, suggested that the civic agencies work with co-ordination. “Our cities are becoming time bombs. We are getting trapped in this system. Today many Bengalureans are forced to drink water from polluted lakes,” he said, emphasising on synergy between agencies.

Alli Rani, a schoolteacher from Varthur, recalled how a mesh fence around Varthur lake fell on a bus carrying many children, including her daughter, trapping them for hours. “It was a horrible moment for us. I want to know what the government has done to prevent such incidents,” she asked Bengaluru Development Minister K J George.

George replied that the incident was unfortunate but noted that the government had left lake conservation activities to experts. “We are not experts. Fencing and other activities are decided by technical experts. We will take note of this,” he said.

Muralidhar Rao of Praja-RAAG said that about 350 metres of SWD near the Golf Course had been covered, causing flash floods during the rainy season. “Knowing the importance of the SWDs, how did the civic agencies permit such construction?” he asked.

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