Sarjapur residents relieved after panchayat widens SWD

Sarjapur residents relieved after panchayat widens SWD

After repeated protests of citizens to stop encroachment of rajakaluve at Yamare lake in East Bengaluru, which was partially closed to allow for road construction is being widened by Yamare Panchayat now.

After protests, residents of Sarjapur are relieved that the local panchayat is now widening the stormwater drain feeding the Yamare Lake.

In February, local residents noticed that a private builder had blocked a major portion of the SWD, a main feeder to the area’s largest waterbody — Sarjapur Doddakere Lake — while building an approach road to Sarjapur Road. They held a series of protests, urging the Yamare panchayat to address the issue. They alleged that the panchayat was in cahoots with the builder to allow the approach road.

“We met members of the Yamare panchayat several times,” local activist Raicy Matthew said. “We wrote to the Anekal tashildar and the minor irrigation department to intervene and stop the construction. It has stopped for now, but we aren’t sure when it would resume,” Raicy added.

Another activist said the panchayat has records that it sanctioned Rs 50 lakh for the road. “The panchayat members sited survey maps to suggest that the road was already in existence and has worn out in recent times. But the road building is taking place in the buffer zone, which is a violation of National Green Tribunal (NGT),” she said.

Residents point out that local villagers depend on the lake for water needs and their cattle graze on the lakebed. A Yamare panchayat official said the road building work is on hold and the SWD widening is almost complete. He also assured that no harm would be done to the lake.