Death knell for Kacharakanahalli lake

The once-pristine 57-acre Kacharakanahalli lake has been turned into a virtual landfill with the Bangalore Development Authority dumping mud and debris into it, gobbling up almost one third of the water body. Another part of the lake has a temple, a dhobi ghat, a slum and small patch of greenery.

The Supreme Court, in its landmark judgement in the case of Animal and Environment Legal Defence Fund vs Union of India,1997, and Susetha vs the State of Tamil Nadu, 2006, had pointed out that conservation of a lake was an equal responsibility of both the State and the citizens. But in 2011, the BDA in blatant violation of the top court’s verdict, went ahead and implemented its 1984-85 plan of converting the lake into a civic amenities site instead of reviving it.

“It is a clear violation. The BDA has encroached upon the Kacharakanahalli lake. Even though the revenue department has not transferred the land to them, the civic agency has already poured tonnes of waste into the lake and is now dividing the area with a concrete stone perimeter,” said a local resident.

The 1984-85 plan obtained through RTI mentions that the BDA would construct public utility services such as hospital, college, playground, market, dhobi ghat, temple, etc, at the spot. But so far, it has managed only a temple.

HBR Layout corporator B Govindaraj said, “There is no encroachment going in the area. We have already cleared private encroachments and intend to develop the place by constructing a mall there.”

He said the revenue department was yet to transfer the land to the BDA because of technical issues.

Local residents, however, are not convinced. One of them said he feared poor people living in the area could be evicted to accommodate malls and other structures. “We will be glad if the authorities revive the lake, which will help avert water scarcity in future,” he said.

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