Waste segregation inside Vibhuthipura lake? No way!

Waste segregation inside Vibhuthipura lake? No way!

Residents protest to foil BBMP plan in the lake they helped develop

Waste segregation inside Vibhuthipura lake? No way!

Unprecedented activism by hundreds of residents had partially rejuvenated the dying Vibhuthipura lake near HAL. But the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), by hastily planning a garbage segregation unit right on the lake bed, has threatened to hijack that collective effort. Only a temporary reprieve is on offer now.

Despite protests, pleas and representations by the local residents, the Palike had started levelling the chosen spot on the lake-bed. Ten days ago, tractors broke through the fence installed by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and began dumping construction debris in multiple loads.

Till Tuesday, the process was on, bulldozing whatever the people achieved after years of struggle! However, when contacted, BBMP Joint Commissioner (Mahadevapura zone) said he had directed the health inspector to stop the process since it would affect the apartment dwellers living in close proximity to the site.

Reality check

But, the damage has already been done. A reality check by Deccan Herald showed just why the citizens are anxious, feeling totally helpless in the face of apathetic use of brute force. Truckloads of debris were dumped in a lake bed area at the end of Kempanna Road, where the Vibhuthipura Kere Abhivruddhi Mattu Samrakshane Samiti (VIKAS) had assidously strived to create a park for senior citizens.

Two weeks ago, Team VIKAS members had spoken to the Joint Commissioner and vociferously opposed the move to set up the segregation plant. The local corporator had even assured that the lake will not be considered. But to their shock, the residents realised last week that the corporator had identified a site within the lake area and moves were afoot to go ahead with the plan.

VIKAS dashed off letters to all the agencies involved. When that did not yield any results, they chased away a tractor laden with construction debris close to the site. “Sustained efforts by VIKAS had spurred BDA to clear encroachments and fence the lake area. But this fence was pulled down to let the tractors in,” said a Team member.

Before it was encroached from all sides, the 43-acre lake’s ecosystem boasted of fish, migratory birds, flora and fauna. Thanks to the efforts of residents from the surrounding areas, the lake was cleaned, desilted and partially de-weeded. But fencing suffered shortage of funds. To keep the lake alive, Team VIKAS keeps in constant touch with the local corporator, MLA, BBMP, BWSSB, BDA and the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority.

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