Fresh encroachments threaten Chikka Kallasandra lake

Fresh encroachments threaten Chikka Kallasandra lake

Fresh encroachments threaten Chikka Kallasandra lake

The Bengaluru Urban district authorities recently reclaimed four guntas of Chikka Kallasandra lake land at 18th Cross, Padmanabhanagar, by demolishing a few houses with asbestos sheet roof.

However, fresh encroachments in the middle of the lake land, which was recovered in a major operation in October 2014 have posed a big challenge for the authorities.
According to sources in the Bengaluru Urban district administration, based on the Karnataka High Court direction, the Bengaluru South tahsildar is hearing the cases of the encroachers on a regular basis. Recently, when some of the encroachers could not provide documents to substantiate their claims over the land where they have built their houses, the tahsildar rejected their ownership claims and recommended demolition of the buildings, said the sources.

As the encroachers lost the cases before the higher authorities too, they gave up and agreed to vacate the land. Subsequently, the structures were demolished and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which is the custodian of the lake, put up a board claiming its ownership of the land. The demolished portion is adjacent to the Prarthana School in Chikka Kallasandra.

When contacted, Tahsildar Dayanand said:  “The matter is being heard on a regular basis, details of which cannot be shared at this juncture. As the hearing progresses, you will see some action on the ground,” he said.

While the district administration was evicting illegal occupation of the lake land, fresh encroachment in the middle of the lake land has watered down the efforts by the district authorities to reclaim the lake land. Barely three months of evicting encroachment, land grabbers have made an audacious attempt to put up fence and their own notice board inside the encroached portion.

Dayanand has blamed the BBMP for not protecting its own property. “The BBMP is the custodian of the lake. After we cleared the major encroachment, the BBMP should have ensured that no one came near it.”

On the other hand, the Palike officials say that they find themselves helpless before the encroachers. “How long can we protect these properties from encroachers unless the law enforcing agencies fix them in the strongest possible way?, said a senior Palike officer. Though the BBMP has lodged a complaint with the Subramanyapura Police, under whose jurisdiction the lake falls, no action has been initiated till now.

D Devaraj, Superintendent of Police, Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) said that he was not aware of the encroachment but assured that he would see to it that no fresh encroachment takes place.