10 of 63 City lakes exist only on paper

Sankey Tank among 36 lakes encroached upon

10 of 63 City lakes exist only on paper

As many as 10 out of 63 City lakes exist only on paper, and another 26 have nothing of their original identity, a Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP)  communique has revealed.

Emphasising the pathetic state of water bodies in Bangalore, once famed as the “City of Thousand Lakes”, a list of 36 lakes sent by BBMP to the deputy commissioner (DC) of Bangalore Urban district has revealed that strategically located Sankey Tank in posh Sadashivanagar too, has not escaped encroachment.

As part of a series of letters  written to the DC, the BBMP lake division wrote another letter on August 25, 2014 seeking the survey sketch of these 36 lakes, which have been partially or totally encroached upon. 

It has also urged him to demarcate the boundaries of the lakes and remove the encroachment. Of the 63 lakes in the BBMP's custody, 10 lakes among the 36 lakes encroached upon exist only on paper and have lost their original identity.

A copy of the letter in possession with Deccan Herald says that the Sankey Tank, which is spread over 35 acres in government records has been encroached upon to an extent of one acre and six guntas. The area commands astronomical land prices.

Historic Kempambudhi Lake, built near Basavanagudi by the founder of Bangalore, Nadaprabhu Kempegowda, has been encroached up to four acres. Halage Vaderahalli Lake near Rajarajeshwari Nagar has lost six acres and nine guntas to encroachers. 

The extent of Kaudenahalli Lake in the City in survey records is 55 acres but 32 acres have been grabbed by land sharks. Now, slums, posh houses, schools and playgrounds rub shoulders with the space meant to be a water body. 

The lakes which have disappeared from the face of Bangalore and exist only in government records. 

These are the Chikka Kallasandra Lake and Ittamadu Lake in Padmanabhanagar, Byataguntepalya Lake, Lingarajapura Lake, Konena Agrahara Lake, Geddalahalli Lake near Dollars Colony off Bellary Road, Vijinapura Lake, Basapura Lake, Srinivagilu Lake and Binnamangala Lake.

While writing to the DC to evict encroachments from the lakes, the BBMP too did not bother to check the records for their extent.

 In one instance, the BBMP mentions the area of Chikka Kallasandra Lake as nine acres and 10 guntas, whereas the revenue records show that it is spread over 12 acres and 26 guntas.

In this regard, a senior Palike officer said he would rectify these errors while writing another letter to the DC shortly.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Bangalore Urban DC V Shankar said he was aware of the lake encroachments and an action plan has been drawn up to free the lakes.

“We recently had a meeting regarding eviction of encroachment from lakes and other public land. We also have drawn a detailed plan and you will see the results from September,” said Shankar.

BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana said the Palike lacks magisterial powers to evict encroachments. Once these encroachments are identified, Revenue officials should step in and clear them. Slum Development Board should also assist to rehabilitate the slum dwellers.

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