Buildings on dead lakes in City may be regularised

Demolition drive will continue, says CM

Buildings on dead lakes in City may be regularised

The State government is contemplating bringing in a law to regularise properties on dead lakes here.

However, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the government would go ahead with the ongoing drive against illegal encroachments.

With back-to-back demolitions on Sarakki and Banaswadi lakes, the government has been facing a lot of heat from the Opposition.

The Bengaluru Urban deputy commissioner’s office is all set to issue notices to property owners in Dollars Colony of JP Nagar here on the grounds that they have encroached a lake.

Discrediting the Opposition’s allegations that the State government was demolishing the houses of the poor and the middle class, Home Minister K J George and District in-charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy said that the action was in compliance with the court order.

The JD(S) and the BJP want the government to stop the demolition drive.
George said Law Minister T B Jayachandra has started working on a bill which will regularise properties on lakes which have lost its original characteristics.

“We are trying to bring a bill which will help save the properties built on lake beds, which have lost their characteristics. The bill is an attempt to ensure that the poor and downtrodden do not lose their homes. The government is not looking to assist the land mafia or justify land encroachments,” said George.

The home minister said that the State government will study the lakes which have been declared dead as per a 1985 report by the S Lakshman Rao Committee on lakes and tanks in Bangalore metropolitan area.

The report says there are 46 dead lakes and 81 live lakes in the City.

The “disappeared lakes” include Dharmambudhi, Kempambudhi, Sampige, Domlur (changed to BDA layout), Akkithimmanahalli lake and Jakkarayanakere.

Reddy said the demolition drive will continue. “However, we will not touch BDA sites and layouts which have cropped up on these lake beds,” he said.

Since the BDA is also part of the government, we cannot allot sites and then go demolish them, he justified.

Reddy also said he has instructed Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner G C Prakash to submit a report on the number of BDA layouts on lake beds across the City within a week.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said his government will continue with the encroachment clearance drive. “We have taken it (encroachment clearance) as a drive. We will not bother whether it is a big builder or small. Nobody will be spared if buildings have come up on encroached lands.”

Asked about the BJP’s demand to convene a special session of the Legislature to discuss the issue, the CM said the BJP on the one hand blames the government for not taking action against encroachments and on the other it is also opposing the demolition drive.

HC breather
The vacation bench of the high court on Tuesday stayed till May 7 the demolition of 25 houses constructed on Banaswadi lake bed, reports DHNS from Bengaluru.
Full report, Page 2

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