The House panel on Lake Encroachment was faced with strong protest by angry residents of Bellandur who besieged the committee members demanding immediate removal of encroachments around the water body.
The House committee headed by Ranebennur MLA K B Koliwad looking into the encroachment of lakes, had a tough time dealing with the villagers.
They almost cornered the committee members seeking an immediate remedy to their problem including encroachment by real estate firms, which they claimed have occupied the Stormwater Drain (SWD) of Bellandur lake. “They have encroached upon the SWD and let sewage into the agriculture fields. To shift the blame, an atmosphere has been created that the farmers are the culprits behind encroaching the SWDs,” Abhishek Gowda, a resident of Yamalur told the Committee.
He blamed effluents from the industries in the upstream for the froth and pollution and added that the high pollution level has led to the fire in the lake. Another resident Venkatesh said the people have been unable to bear the stench, which also becomes harmful to human health.
“Even a touch of its water leaves rashes and itching sensation,” Venkatesh told Deccan Herald.
“This is not a problem of today, it has been accumulated in the last 15 years and has worsened now. The lake is of 40 feet deep,” said Narayana, another resident here. Mentioning that nearly 18 people have died of dengue this year, Abhishek Gowda said the mosquito menace here is so bad that nobody can stay out of house after 4 pm.
Koliwad said Industries upstream this lake have been releasing effluents and this has been a reason for this problem. He said he will have a meeting with the Chairman of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and see what can be done.
He also directed the Revenue official and the BBMP officials to clear encroachment within a week. The authorities have been told to furnish an action taken report and give an explanation.
He said that the lake being big, the boundaries have not been fixed. “Only 2,770 meters of boundaries have been fixed and there is a need to fix another 9,520 meters.”
Other lakesThe Committee also visited Sankey lake, Chennasandra lake at Banaswadi, Vijinapura lake, Kaudenhalli lake, B Narayanapura lake, Sheelavantara lake, Munekolalu lake, Kaikondarahalli lake before reaching Bellandur. All the lakes were found encroached, except for the Kaikondarahalli lake.
Earlier at Banaswadi, some of the affected people of the demolition drive demanded the committee to regularise their property termed encroachment. Residents said they are not encroachers, but have purchased property and have been paying taxes.
Kaikondarahalli lakeThe committee was happy with the maintenance of Kaikondarahalli lake, Sankey lake and Munekolalu lake.
Rajajinagar MLA S Suresh Kumar said that the encroachment of the lake has been cleared long ago and has been maintained neatly. The committee suggested that the Sheelavantara lake should be cleared of its hyacinth and fenced properly. The committee said it has visited 19 lakes during the two days and will inspect the remaining nine lakes after the panchayat elections and its meeting scheduled on June 9.
Koliwad also said that after a meeting of committee on June 9, the interim report will be placed before the Committee and will be decided on making its recommendation to the government.