Clear lakes of encroachers, High Court tells State

The Karnataka High Court has ordered the complete removal of encroachments of lakes in the State.

Karnataka High Court judge Justice L Narayanaswamy has asked all district commissioners (DCs) to submit an affidavit stating that encroachments have been removed.

The judge has ordered affidavits be submitted in the next two months. Conducting Lok Adalat on environmental issues, Justice Narayanswamy ordered that there should be no encroachment of lakes which primarily come under minor irrigation department in rural areas.

During the adalat, environmentalist and Lok Adalat member Yellappa Reddy asked the DCs to produce a list of 32,000 lakes coming under the purview of Zilla Panchayats in the State.
According to Reddy, there is no information on as many as 10,000 of these lakes.

Bangalore Regional Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said the government has no concrete information.  While some may have been encroached upon, others may have dried-up over a period of time, he said.

Stating that this was a serious cause for concern, Justice Narayanswamy said missing lakes issue would be taken up in the next Lok Adalat sitting.

On illegal digging of borewells, he asked the government to take stringent action against owners and seize those borewells.

He also opined that illegal sand mining must be dealt with strictly.

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