Lake encroachment: Panel to finalise interim report on May 19

Congress MLA K B Koliwad on Tuesday said that he would place a draft interim report before the committee on lake encroachment in and around Bengaluru, a panel which he heads, on May 19 for acceptance.

The 11-member committee, constituted in November last, held its ninth meeting in the City on Tuesday. The State Cabinet, in its meeting last week, had decided to halt demolition of houses built in layouts that have come up on lakebeds and developed by the Bangalore Development Authority till the Koliwad panel submits its report. Law Minister T B Jayachandra had indicated that the committee would be submitting its interim report in 15 days.

Koliwad said that he was preparing a draft interim report and the same would be placed before the committee on May 19 for discussion. “The panel will recommend that the interest of innocent citizens should be protected and those responsible for the illegal constructions on lakebeds be punished”, Koliwad said.

He said many citizens had purchased sites and constructed houses on lakebeds without knowing about the illegality. “In cases where it is possible such construction will be spared. In cases where demolition is inevitable, we will recommend that alternative arrangements be made available to them”,  Koliwad said. He added that he cannot divulge the proceedings of the panel meetings as it would amount to breach of privilege of the legislature.

The panel will also be making spot visits to lakes in Bengaluru east and south in the coming days. Koliwad said that there were 1,718 lakebeds in Bengaluru Urban. He said documents pertaining to the lakes had been sought from all departments concerned.

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