200 km of canals encroached

Survey of major canals brings out startling facts

200 km of canals encroached

A survey of 650 km-long major canals (raja kaluve) in Bangalore Urban district has revealed that at least 200 km of the canals have been encroached upon.

Following a flurry of complaints, RTI applications and newspaper reports about the encroachment of canals, the joint survey by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the revenue department was conducted in 227 villages out of 271 villages.
The task was accomplished in six months by 44 surveyors of the revenue department and 60 BBMP engineers. Survey work in the remaining 44 villages would be completed within a week, said Deputy Commissioner of Bangalore Urban, G C Prakash. He handed over the village-wise survey report to the BBMP Chief Engineer (stormwater drains), H C Ananthaswamy on Thursday.

Palike among encroachers

According to the report, the BBMP — the custodian of all canals within its limits — is one of the main encroachers, along with some private builders, layout developers and nursing homes. Speaking to reporters, Prakash said a crackdown will be launched on the encroachment within ten days, that may go on for more than a year.

“Apart from individuals, there are some influential people behind the encroachments. However influential those people may be, they will be treated as encroachers and action will be taken accordingly,” said Prakash.

“We have identified the encroachments. Now, it is up to the BBMP to evict them. We will lend our support wherever required,” he added.

The information will soon be uploaded on a website. The BBMP Chief Engineer, Ananthaswamy said the work would start in ten days and the focus would be on sensitive zones where the chances of flooding during rains are very high. “Initially we will take up ten kilometres and then proceed further,” he said.

167 lakes disappeared

Along with canals, lakes have been surveyed too. Prakash said there were 937 lakes in the Bangalore Urban District, including in Anekal Taluk, while 167 lakes had disappeared. He said restoration of canals would help save all the lakes in Bangalore.

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