Illegal settlements cleared from Bellandur Lake’s periphery

Illegal settlements cleared from Bellandur Lake’s periphery

BBMP workers remove the illegal shanties from the buffer zone of Bellandur Lake on Tuesday.

The authorities on Tuesday cleared all the illegal constructions from the buffer zone of Bellandur Lake, the city’s largest waterbody. 

The action follows the orders of the joint commissioner of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, Mahadevapura zone, to clear away the huts, makeshift sheds and shanties. 

The structures, which were nothing more than asbestos sheets clamped to bamboo poles, had filled the space between the Doddamma temple on the lakeside and Suncity area. 

Locals first noticed the illegal shanties and informed the lake marshal and civic authorities. Hundreds of migrant labourers and daily wage workers were said to have occupied the makeshift structures that have no water or sanitation. 

“Some of them were ragpickers. They would bring their collection and segregate it on the lakeside. They burnt the waste or dumped it in the lake,” said S S Singh, another resident. 

The swift action by the joint commissioner to clear the hutments is considered a victory for civic activists who wanted to protect the lake’s fragile ecological condition. 

“We were extremely concerned since these huts had no running water or sanitation. The settlement had an impact on the lake since most of its occupants were involved in waste management and a large amount of low-value solid waste was dumped into the lake,” said Sonali Singh, a citizen activist.

“The truth is that they had no basic amenities and open defecation was quite common.”