Saviour of city's lakes yet to get its act together

Saviour of city's lakes yet to get its act together

KLCDA officials unaware of their job; staff shortage hits work

Saviour of city's lakes yet to get its act together

It has been over a year since the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) was formed. But it is yet to exercise its powers and bring offenders to book. The primary reason is that officials are unaware of their roles and responsibilities. There is also shortage of staff.

In 2015, the Lake Development Authority was transformed into the KLCDA and rules were finalised in March 2016. It was only after this that the KLCDA could start exercising its powers as it was registered as a society earlier, an official told Deccan Herald.

“Action can be initiated when there are adequate staff and there is an integrated approach from all departments and officials. This can happen only when officials are aware of their roles,” the official said.

As a first step towards carrying out its mandate, the authority will have a meeting on July 16 to brief officials on their roles and responsibilities. Officials from the KLCDA, the Revenue Department, the Bangalore Development Authority, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, the Minor Irrigation Department, the Forest Department, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, the zilla panchayat, besides independent experts and other stakeholders will take part in the meeting, the official said.

“Protection of lakes in Bengaluru, which is witnessing rapid infrastructural growth, is a big challenge. There is no co-ordination among departments. Out of a thousand lakes in the city, just 210 lakes exist, and 80% of them are in a pathetic condition. Even after the meeting, if the condition of lakes fails to improve, then the KLCDA will exercise its powers and take over lakes and book even government departments,” the official said.

Staff shortage

The sanctioned staff strength at KLCDA is 96, but it has just 14 people working for it at present.

Eleven of them are outsourced while four are permanent staff. The authority is yet to form its regional offices. The LCDA team will visit a lake every week and prepare a detailed report on its condition, the official said. But working with these limitations is difficult, he added.

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