A giant step to save tank

A giant step to save tank

It took a HC order for Palike to clear Dasarahalli tank bed of encroachments

A giant step to save tank

On Tuesday morning, it launched a demolition drive that left the Dasarahalli tank bed resemble a war-ravaged zone. Razed to the ground were 23 illegal residential and commercial complexes, which housed about 500 people. The Palike’s ‘Save tank’ campaign had arrived.

As onlookers watched with fear and awe, Palike’s men and machines went about the task clinically. The heaps of wreckage and household materials littered told a story of a mission accomplished. But, even as the residents stood in shock and lamented the loss of their roofs, the two-century-old tank finally looked set to hit the recovery road.

The tank had been silently slipping into the jaws of land sharks, who had eaten up a significant portion of the tank bed in the last 40 years.

Gross misuse

Against the backdrop of the Karnataka High Court admitting a report submitted by a committee constituted by it to look into the gross misuse of tanks in the City, the Palike launched its 'Save Tank' campaign from Dasarahalli.

The BBMP officials, with nearly 200 policemen and Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) personnel, arrived at the spot and with the help of nearly 20 heavy digging machines, the encroachments on the tank were removed.

“We found 23 residential and commercial complexes on the tank bed. We demolished all of them. We will convert it into one of the beautiful tanks in the City," said a BBMP engineer.

The tank, spread over an area of 32 acres according to Palike records, had shrunk to 25 acres due to the encroachment. Besides private individuals who had built houses on the tank bed, the State government too had constructed a public library there. The library is also on the hit list of the Palike's anti-encroachment squad. Officials claimed that they freed four acres and 19 guntas in Tuesday’s operations. A slum, however, could not be removed.

"The total cost of the property freed was Rs 30 crore," said the Palike’s public relations officer.