BDA asks ASC Centre to take over Bellandur Lake

Froth at the Bellandur Lake. DH file photo/S K Dinesh

The rejuvenation process of the Bellandur Lake may begin smoothly. Courtesy, the discussion between the Bangalore Development Authority and the Ministry of Defence on handing over charge of its maintenance.

The state government is again urging the defence forces to take over the rejuvenation of Bengaluru's largest waterbody, spread across 951 acres. This will be the third discussion in two years.

In January, after the lake caught fire, the BDA had written to the Major General, the  Commandant, ASC Centre, with a proposal to hand over the 'tank' to the ASC Centre for preservation and maintenance.

"We had only received an oral communication from the Armed Forces then, stating that they cannot take over the lake. But now, the talks have revived again and we will be more than delighted to hand over the Bellandur Lake," said a senior BDA official, seeking anonymity.

In the letter, the BDA had stated that the fire occurred on January 19 at the lake. It went on to say that since a large chunk of the land located on the outer periphery of the Bellandur tank belonged to the defence, they could take up the preservation and maintenance works.

BDA fails to manage lake

"The BDA is unable to manage the lake, and meet the expectations of all the stakeholders and expert committee members. The defence has the expertise and the workforce to handle the lake. So, they should take it  over,"  said Prof T V Ramachandra, Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc, and a committee member.

The defence officials told DH: "Though it is not a mandated task, the army is in pursuance of a clean and green environment, and is in discussions with the state government. The formal arrangements are being made to address the problem in a professional and long-lasting manner."

The government is now keen, especially after the commission appointed by the National Green Tribunal shamed them in their report dated May 31. The commission had termed the Bellandur and Varthur Lakes as environmental emergencies. The commission had also noted that because of the sheer callousness and indifference of the authorities, the biggest lake had become the largest septic tank.

The first proposal to hand over the lake to the defence ministry was mooted on June 1, 2016, when government officials and expert committee members inspected the lake. The defence officials had then discussed reviving the lake and using it for their training. The government was keen as it would ensure no encroachment and ownership would stay with them.

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BDA asks ASC Centre to take over Bellandur Lake

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