Construction debris destroying Kodigehalli Lake

Land sharks are dumping construction debris on the wetland surrounding the centuries-old Doddabommasandra Lake, threatening its survival. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Land sharks are dumping construction debris on the wetland surrounding the centuries-old Doddabommasandra Lake, threatening its survival.

Residents said the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) designated the 40-acre wetland surrounding the lake, also called Kodigehalli Lake, as a 'valley zone'. The low-lying area facilitates the flow of water to the lake, especially in the rainy season. Now, hundreds of tractors unload construction debris and garbage in the valley zone.

"The zone is filled with poisonous debris dumped by the land mafia, damaging the natural water flow to the Hebbal Lake. This (place) is also witnessing illegal construction of apartments and structures as BBMP officials get huge kickbacks," said Jagdesh Mahadev, an advocate and well-wisher of the lake.

Another well-wisher, Santhosh Min, asked the BBMP to stop issuing the building plan for the illegal structures coming up in the valley zone. He also asked the Hebbal police to seize the vehicles that dump the debris since it destroys its nature.

Residents said the lake should be rejuvenated and restored sooner to prevent its death. If the civic agencies concerned failed to stop the lake's destruction, they said they would approach the Lokayukta with a complaint.

But area corporate Kusuma Manjunath said the land belongs to a private party and the government has no jurisdiction over it.

"The part (of the property) belonging to the government has been fenced long ago. Whatever remains is private land. We intervened some years ago when they dumped garbage and people complained about the stench. They removed it. But now, private land owners are dumping construction debris to flatten it (to convert it into a layout). We can’t ask them to stop," Kusuma said.

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