Activists warn of stir over lake encroachment

Activists warn of stir over lake encroachment

Freedom fighter HS Doreswamy. DH file photo

Freedom fighter HS Doreswamy on Tuesday threatened to launch an indefinite hunger strike over the encroachment of lakes in Bengaluru.

Doreswamy paid a surprise visit to Chikkallasandra Lake, Ittamadu Lake and others on Tuesday in Bengaluru South and lashed out at the authorities for failing to check land sharks from gobbling up water bodies.

The centenarian freedom fighter was assisted by Veerasangaiah of the Raitha Sangha during the visit. Stating that he had been documenting the encroachment of lakes in Bengaluru, Doreswamy submitted a detailed report to the Deputy Commissioner, Bengaluru Urban, for further action.

According to Doreswamy, the Chikkallasandra Lake, which is spread across 12.26 acres, has been completely encroached.

“Encroachers have built milk booth and makeshift sheds well within the lake area. Also, due to various linear works, the lake bed has completely been damaged. The lake neither has neither any fence nor any boundary,” Doreswamy alleged.

Demanding urgent intervention of the Bengaluru Urban DC, he further said: “The district administration must take up eviction drive. If the authorities fail to act, we may have to resort to indefinite strike as we did in the past. I have been discussing it with various organizations and activists to hold a similar protest. We are yet to decide on the date and venue of the protest.”

Encroachment cleared

A senior official of the Bengaluru Urban District (Revenue) said when the encroachment was previously exposed by DH, the administration had reacted swiftly and removed encroachments.

“The lake was subsequently handed over to the BBMP,” the official said.

“But if you visit the lake now, one will see that it has yet again encroached completely,” said an angry Doreswamy. “I have brought it to the notice of Tahsildars several times and written to them in vain. Even though they acted initially, now it has gone back to the original position. We have again written to the Tahsildar, Bengaluru South, but there is no response till date.”