'Legalise' layout built on lakebed, BDA urges govt

'Legalise' layout built on lakebed, BDA urges govt

'Legalise' layout built on lakebed, BDA urges govt

The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has urged the State government to “legalise” the illegal residential layout it formed on Venkatarayana Kere, a lakebed in survey number eight of Gubbalala village in Uttarahalli hobli of Bengaluru South taluk.

Going against a Karnataka High Court order and the subsequent government notification banning all construction activity on the lakebed, the BDA board has passed a resolution to allow the layout to remain on the lakebed, arguing that it must be treated as an “exceptional case”.

The gist of the resolution became public on Friday when the matter of illegal layout on the lakebed came up for hearing before Upa Lokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi. After going through the resolution, the Upa Lokayukta asked the government to submit its reply to him at 11.30 am on March 6.

The reason cited by the BDA for retaining the lakebed layout is that it will have to spend Rs 24 crore to develop a new layout and pay compensation to those allotted sites and have houses in the layout.

In his order passed on Friday directing the government to file a response, Justice Adi noted, “(The) BDA though being a government authority acquiring this said lake land is nothing but an encroachment and the officials at (the) relevant time are responsible for it. In addition to it, even the persons (who) obeyed such orders are liable for such (a) crime.”

He continued, “In 1995, the High Court of Karnataka in WP31343/1995 by order dated February 28, 1995, had issued a direction to the State government that no tank bed or lake land within the Bengaluru Metropolitan Region is granted or allotted.”
Based on the court order, Justice Adi noted, the government passed an order on April 19, 2010, directing for protection of not only 115 lakes identified but also the lakes and lake areas in terms of HC direction in 1995 and 2008.

 He observed that in pursuance of the High Court direction, the government had formed the Lake Development Authority and set apart separate funds for lake development, and in this regard, it had issued many directions to protect, develop and remove encroachments. He said it was understandable that the government was seriously concerned with the protection of lakes.

In his direction to the government, the Upa Lokayukta said, “Now the BDA has taken a decision to protect the layout as against the protection of lake and has sought for government decision on the same.

Hence, it is necessary to know the government's view at the earliest. As such you are requested to communicate in person on the basis of BDA's request on March 6, 2015, at 11.30 am.”

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