Authorities moot lake cess again

Authorities moot lake cess again

Citizens should share responsibility, say authorities

According to officials districts and cities have already implemented the cess, and the same should also be done in Bengaluru. DH file photo

The Karnataka Tank Conservation and Development Authority (KTCDA) and the Minor Irrigation Department (MID) are again pressing for the collection of lake cess from residential and commercial complexes around lakes.

According to them, the idea is not new. The officials assert that districts and cities have already implemented the idea, and the same should be done in Bengaluru also.

The Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) first came up with the proposal a year ago. However, the government and the cabinet did not accept it then.

Manjunath, KTCDA Commissioner, said the lake cess was collected in other places and Bengaluru should also adopt this. Collecting the lake cess is essential as it would help the departments in their functioning, and would also bring a sense of responsibility among people.

Both the departments are now examining the plan in detail and are working to pressing it before the government once again.

They hope the proposal to be accepted as the government has shown a lot of trust in both the departments.

Quoting the example of Bellandur and Varthur lakes, where locals point fingers at government officials for not doing anything and also give suggestions, the officials say that the citizens should also help the government in improving the lakes.

V Govindaraj, Deputy Secretary, Water Resources, MID said: when KLCDA was repelled, the government order clearly stated that all works and proposals undertaken by the KLCDA would continue. The MID, the monitoring agency and the custodians of the lakes, should take onus and work towards it.

The authority had mooted the idea when Madiwala Lake was being made a Biodiversity Park. The idea gained momentum when it found that a lot of garbage and sewage was entering the lake.

KLCDA officials had also stated that as people enjoy the scenic view of lakes and builders sell properties as lake view, they should divert a part of their profits under the corporate social responsibility (CSR).

They also noted that as the residents of areas around Puttenahalli Lake in JP Nagar contribute money for the lake conservation, the same can be extended to other places also.

A senior urban development department official said the idea could be relooked.

If lake cess is collected from the people, then they will have a sense of accountability, and this would also help in engaging them for conservation.

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