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Relief for Bagmane Tech Park? Panel provides alternative to encroachment

Belagavi, DH News Service Nov 22 2017, 1:01 IST
Lake inspection committee chairman K B Koliwad, MLA Suresh Kumar and other committee members visited Byrsandra lake next to Bagmane Tec Park in Bengaluru on Thursday.DH PHOTOBagmane

Lake inspection committee chairman K B Koliwad, MLA Suresh Kumar and other committee members visited Byrsandra lake next to Bagmane Tec Park in Bengaluru on Thursday.DH PHOTOBagmane

Establishments or individuals can compensate for encroaching lakes by providing alternate lands in the vicinity, the House Committee on Lake Encroachment has recommended to the state government.

This could come as a relief to Bagmane Tech Park, which has constructed a building on 9 guntas of the Byrasandra lake in K R Puram, according to the house committee report. The tech park has offered to let go of 1.9 acres of land attached to the water body in exchange for not demolishing the building.

The committee has come down hard on commercial buildings that have come up on lakes. It has asked the government to "indiscriminately demolish" commercial buildings encroaching lakes that can be rejuvenated.

"If a commercial building has encroached a lake that cannot be revived, the government has to take over and demolish them. If demolition is deemed a national waste, the government should take over the maintenance of such buildings," the report says.

The committee has strongly asked the government to clear stormwater drain encroachments in the city. "Any encroachment of a drain in any form by any person must be cleared by the government. After clearing the encroachment, the government must revive the drain," the report says.

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Act against mall

The committee has directed the government to "immediately" recover 1 acre of the Devasandra lake land that V R Bengaluru Mall has allegedly encroached upon. According to the report, the mall has constructed a building on Katte, which means government lake land. The mall had managed to get a stay order from the court on a notice issued by the revenue authorities on the encroachment. However, the stay has been vacated and the assistant commissioner was directed to take an action six months ago. "That authorities have not taken any action till now must be probed," the report stressed.

Buffer zone violation

The committee has asked the government to look into alleged violation of buffer zone by the Valmark apartment in Hulimavu. According to the report, the apartment has come up in the buffer of the Hulimavu lake on survey number 42. The report also mentions that the committee had been informed by authorities that the apartment had encroached 1.5 acres. The committee has recommended the government to take action after examining the violation.

Drain encroachment

The Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner is directed to look into alleged stormwater drain encroachment by Karle company near Manyata Tech Park in Nagavara. The committee has received complaints from locals that the company had encroached a drain by building a compound, thereby blocking its flow. The DC should "as soon as possible" verify documents and the village map to take necessary action.

Bird's eye view

The KB Koliwad Committee report on lake encroachments in and around Bengaluru tabled in the Legislative Assembly in Belagavi on Tuesday comes with a huge cache of annexures running into thousands of pages.

The main report runs into 247 pages in 23 chapters and the annexures have maps, photos on lake-wise encroachment both in Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts.

The entire report and all the annexures have been now uploaded on the websitewww.kla.kar.nic.in

The report traces the history of lakes in and around Bengaluru. The 11-member committee visited over 600 water bodies during the last three years. There is a chapter that provides details on the status of some key lakes including Bellandur lake, Varthur lake, Jakkur lake, Halasur, Hebbal, Agara among others.

The encroachment of lakes been classified into different categories €“ by private parties, by government agencies among others.

There is a chapter on ways and means of revival and conservation of lakes. The latter part of the report deals with the status of Rajakaluves in and around Bengaluru. The report ends with recommendations of the panel.

Other important recommendations

-File criminal case against officials who were hand in glove with the encroachers and recover losses caused by them.

-It has said that there is no need to removing structures that have been built by various government agencies for the benefit of citizens like bus stands and roads.

-Set up an authority headed by an officer of Additional Chief Secretary to the government to ensure proper coordination among concerned agencies in conserving lakes.

-All government agencies to obtain the permission of the authority before taking up any development.

-Bring in necessary amendments to the law to empower the government to declare the encroached portion of lakes as dead.

-The penalty imposed on regularizing lake encroachment, if any, should be used for development of lakes only.

-Set up a lake development fund

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