BDA, tahsildar pass the buck on saving Chunchaghatta lake

Protecting the encroached Chunchaghatta lake appears to be nobody’s concern as both the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), which is the custodian of the waterbody, and the Bangalore South tahsildar are just passing the buck.

Documents available with Deccan Herald show the BDA wants the tahsildar to fix the boundary first while the latter insists that he has only one surveyor with him, who alone cannot do the work.

When the entire government machinery was busy conducting the general elections in April, land sharks began dumping soil into the Chunchaghatta lake to grab at least nine acres, reducing its size from 23 acres to 14 acres as mentioned in the BDA documents.

Subsequently, volunteers of People’s Campaign for Right to Water (PCRW) raised a hue and cry about the land grabbing, held a demonstration outside the BDA office and made correspondences with all government departments right from the chief minister’s office to the chief secretary and the BDA to the tahsildar.

Following the letter, the BDA came out with a rather shocking explanation.

The BDA assistant executive engineer wrote to the PCRW: “On the directions of the Upalokayukta to fence the lake, the tahsildar was urged to demarcate the boundaries of Chunchaghatta lake and other lakes in our sub-division. The tahsildar has said that he has only one surveyor with him, who is overburdened with work. Hence the demarcation cannot take place immediately. Unless the boundary is fixed, we will not be able to protect the lake.”

The BDA engineer then made a fervent appeal to PCRW volunteers to exert pressure on the tahsildar to demarcate the lake boundary. In response to the PCRW’s letter, the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) too directed the tahsildar to fix the boundary but he remained unmoved.

Ishwarappa of the PCRW said: “The entire government machinery seems to have surrendered to the land grabbers. Even the Lake Development Authority (LDA) and the BBMP seem helpless.”

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