BBMP remains silent despite discovering encroachers

BBMP’s bulldozers remain silent despite discovering encroachers

Experts say removing them would have eased flooding due to the rains

After scouring 204 lakes in the city for encroachments, the municipal authorities have remained silent over clearing them.

A report prepared by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) six months ago reveals that over 941 acres of lake land has encroached. Experts say removing them would have eased flooding due to the rain.

The last time the BBMP worked its bulldozers to raze encroachments was in August when some portion of the lake land was recovered in Kaggadasapura. A similar exercise was held in December last year to recover 2.58 acres of land near Rachenahalli. Since then, though, the bulldozers have fallen silent.

The BBMP has managed to claim a mere 38 acres out of the 941 acres of encroachment, while its survey says only 20 lakes in the city are totally encroachment-free. While government agencies have encroached 28 lakes, slum dwellers occupied about six lakes.

This apart, a whopping 131 lakes amounting to 573 acres have been encroached by both government and private entities. The BBMP’s survey has an elaborate list of all encroachments right from houses, private layouts to schools and compound walls.

Officials said a lot of preliminary work has been done to identify encroachments and serve
notices to the occupants.

“We are currently in the process of getting proper survey maps from the ADLR (Assistant Director of Land Records). We have written to the DC (Deputy Commissioner) in this regard,” said R Suguna, chief engineer, BBMP’s lake division. These records, she said, were needed to serve notices. 

Flood mitigation

Experts point out that much of the flooding seen during the heavy rains could have been avoided if the lakes were kept free to absorb rainwater.

“The lakes should be seen as a flood-mitigation resource and a rainwater-harvesting facility. All the designs and plans should aim to increase their water-holding capacity.

“Lakes are not meant to be recreational centres,” said V Ramprasad, convener of the voluntary group Friends of Lakes.

Watch the latest DH Videos here:

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox