How BDA 'stole' lake land to form layout

How BDA 'stole' lake land to form layout

Officials allegedly colluded with realtors to grab land; 60 sites formed

How BDA 'stole' lake land to form layout

The future of several house owners in Banashankari sixth stage in Gubbalala village, Uttarahalli, hangs in balance as it has now come to light that the BDA created the layout of 60 sites right on the bed of the Venkatarayanakere (lake).

The lake, spread over four acres and 15 guntas in Survey Number 8 of Gubbalala, is on the upstream of the Subramanyapura lake.

It was handed over to the BDA to develop and beautify it, about 10 years ago, by fencing it and constructing a walkway around it.

But BDA officials got the lake bed levelled and formed the layout. BDA commissioner T Sham Bhatt has promised to visit the place soon for an inspection.

Located about a kilometre away from the main road, the ‘lake’ easily escapes attention because of its location. It is covered by the hillocks of Gubbalala on three sides and the Mantri Tranquil apartments on the southern side. The Mantri Developers have encroached upon a portion of the stormwater drain (SWD) of this lake for its apartments.

The location helped BDA officials to collude with land sharks active in the region to grab the land and carve out a ‘genuine’ layout. The names of the beneficiaries of sites in the layout are not known.

The ‘lake’ was spotted when officials of the SWD division of the BBMP started fencing the major SWD (Bruhat Raja Kaaluve) of Subramanyapura Lake, following complaints rampant encroachment.

When BBMP officials started fencing the major SWD, they were threatened to give up the work, but they continued their job risking their lives. In the last leg of fencing the SWD three months ago, they stumbled upon the lake-turned-layout. For nearly three months, they hid the matter, but recently disclosed it to their higher-ups.

The record of Rights, Tenancy and Crops (RTC) declares Sy No 8 a lake. Till Monday, the BDA website showed Sy No 8 away from its actual location. To prove their point, BDA officials had even engaged earth removers and heavy machines to ‘create a lake’ on a hillock, but all efforts went in vain. When Deccan Herald sought to know from Bhatt about the lake-turned-layout, BDA officials set right the map location on their website on Tuesday.

Residents of Gubbalala say the Venkatarayanakere was more beautiful than Subramanyapura lake. Ramesh, a resident of Gubbalala, said, “The pristine water of the lake was the source of our daily needs. We used to fetch water from it. Many apartments came up on the upstream of this lake and it was polluted by the sewage water that was diverted from the apartments. Later, the BDA formed a layout over the lake. We still wonder, how a planning authority developed a layout on a lake bed, gave approval for the layout and the building plans.”