Cost of proposal to develop Bellandur lake 'highly inflated'

Cost of proposal to develop Bellandur lake 'highly inflated'

Cost of proposal to develop Bellandur lake 'highly inflated'

The State government’s proposal to the Centre to develop the Bellandur lake at a cost of Rs 900 crore has raised many eyebrows as it is seen as a highly inflated proposal, which should not cost more than Rs 400 crore.

Following a hullabaloo over the pathetic state of Bellandur lake, the biggest in the City, the government was forced to act. However, all that it could do recently in the name of development was putting up a water sprinkler at the waste-weir to contain the frothing and send a detailed project report (DPR) of Rs 900 crore to the Centre.

The lake is presently in the custody of BDA, but when it was in BBMP’s control, it had got a survey sketch of the lake ready with the help of Revenue department and prepared a DPR way back in 2010. 

According to the Palike’s DPR, Rs 194 crore was required for its development, which involved diversion of sewage in the north and south of the lake at a cost of Rs 15.22 crore, improvement of stormwater inlets, outlets, catchment area and construction of wetland. There was also a proposal for sewage treatment plants.

Cold responseThe government’s response to the proposal was cold. Instead of approving the proposal, it took away the lake from the Palike’s and gave it to the cash-strapped Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), which has a track record of turning lakes into residential layouts.

A Palike engineer found the DPR of Rs 900 crore exorbitant and mind-boggling. He said, “The price escalation is calculated at 10 per cent a year and the maximum increase in the estimate in six years should be Rs 320 crore. Even by increasing moderately, the cost should not be more than Rs 400 crore.”

M Eshwarappa of People’s Campaign for Right to Water found something fishy in the lake development plan.

He said, “The intention is not to develop the lake, but to squander public money. If the government was serious, it should have acted way back in 2010, when the cost of the project was very less.”