BBMP, BDA quarrel over upkeep of Hulimavu Lake

The place where the Hulimavu Lake bund breached on Sunday. DH PHOTO/S K Dinesh

The breach of the Hulimavu Lake on Sunday afternoon has yet again brought the focus on the bitter spat between the BBMP and the BDA over the maintenance of the city’s waterbodies.

While the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike claimed that the sprawling 132-acre lake is under the Bangalore Development Authority’s control, the BDA says the lake was handed over to the civic body years ago.

While visiting the Hulimavu Lake and inspecting the localities flooded by the breach, Mayor M Gowtham Kumar said the lake had not been handed over to the civic body fully and the official handover was yet to happen. “Although a decision was taken back in 2016, the BDA is yet to hand over the control of the lake to us,” he explained.

Kumar said the lakes that breached this year were in the BDA’s control. “BDA officials should complete the total station survey to ascertain the extent of the lake and any encroachment before handing it over to the BBMP. But, for reasons known only to them, the process hasn’t been completed,” he said.  

‘BBMP also at fault’

He admitted BBMP officials failed to initiate the process from their end to expedite the takeover. “I won’t blame the BDA alone. Our officials are equally responsible for the delay. I’ve asked the (BBMP) commissioner to hold a meeting with BDA officials and complete the process at the earliest, in public interest,” he said.

But BDA commissioner G C Prakash refuted claims that the Hulimavu Lake has not been handed over. He insisted that the waterbody has been handed over to the BBMP “at least seven to eight years ago.”

“We checked the records and conveyed to the BBMP (regarding the handing-over issue). It’s very much on the records,” he said.  

Prakash referred to a meeting chaired by B S Yediyurappa a few days ago and said the chief minister has ordered the BDA to turn over all the lakes in its control to the BBMP due to paucity of funds. This would exclude the Bellandur and Varthur lakes, which the BDA would eventually surrender to the civic body after the rejuvenation.

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