No lake at Chikkalasandra, says BWSSB

No lake at Chikkalasandra, says BWSSB

Ignores NGT orders, digs through waterbody, lays new sewage network

Sewage pipeline being laid beside the stormwater drain on Chikkalasandra lakebed in Bengaluru on Monday.DH PHOTO/SRIKANTA SHARMA R

Work on laying a new sewage pipeline in Uttarahalli limits in Chikkalasandra has given a new twist to the Chikkalasandra lake encroachment case. While the village and revenue maps of Chikkalasandra clearly reveal the presence of a waterbody at the heart of the locality, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) seems to undermine the fact and is hurrying to write the lake’s epitaph. 

Claiming that the waterbody does not exist anymore, the BWSSB officials have not only violated the National Green Tribunal (NGT) orders but have also damaged the lake bed by digging it up to lay a new sewage pipeline.

The NGT previously has categorically ordered that no damage be done to the lakebed while maintaining the 75-metre buffer area as a green zone. However, disregarding the NGT orders, the BWSSB personnel have been digging up the lakebed and laying a new sewage network. 

According to Sneha V, assistant executive engineer (Vrishabhavati Valley) BWSSB who is supervising over the work at Chikkalasandra lake, the work at the site was approved by the state government. “The existing sewage pipeline is blocked and hence we are laying a new pipeline of 600-litre capacity.

Until the completion, the sewage will be let into the SWD and soon after the work, the sewage flow will be diverted and the SWD will be cleaned and separated,” Sneha clarified. 

Many houses, various types of shops including hardware and other structures have come up on the lake premises in survey number 76 of Chikkalasandra village in Uttarahalli hobli on 18th Main Road of Padmanabhanagar in Bangalore South taluk. In fact, the Bengaluru Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF), after the expose by DH in its August 16, 2014 edition, had cleared the encroachment and reclaimed the lake bed.

Encroachments abound

However, currently, the reclaimed area is dotted with sheds and a garbage loading point while the sides of the lake are encroached by settlers. 

However, when asked about the violation of the NGT orders Sneha replied, “There is no lake in the area. The NGT orders are applicable only when there is a waterbody. But in this case, there is no lake at all. In fact, we had spoken to the revenue department about this confusion and only after obtaining permission from the revenue department are we are laying a pipeline.”

She even claimed that both the Padmanabhanagar MLA and the local corporator have spoken to the Revenue department regarding the work. 

Water can’t enter lake

The BBMP has already constructed a stormwater drain inside the lake by sealing its top and has prevented the water from entering the lake. Shobha L, corporator of Padmanabhanagar ward under whose jurisdiction the lake is located, said that there is sewage flow on the road during rains and hence the BWSSB is constructing a parallel line to prevent this overflow.

But when asked about causing damage to the lake bed, Shobha had no answer and evaded questions.

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