Lake authority takes first step to save city's water bodies

Lake authority takes first step to save city's water bodies

Forms squads which will act against encroachers, polluters

Lake authority takes first step to save city's water bodies

The Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) has formally set up lake squads to check encroachments on water bodies in Bengaluru and elsewhere in Karnataka. An official order to this effect was issued on Thursday.

The squads, set up under Sections 5 and 6 of the KLCDA Act to ensure protection of lakes, have been divided into two wings: vigilance and review.

“Most lakes in the city have several problems and so far there was no redress mechanism to solve them. By the formation of these squads, all complaints about a lake’s upkeep can be taken up with these squads which will be seated at the KLCDA head office,” an official said.

People will get acknowledgement of the complaints they post. The squads will work in co-ordination with lake wardens of all localities and residents’ welfare associations.

The vigilance wing has eight members and is headed by Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests. The review wing has four members and is headed by Deputy Director (Fisheries).

Members of the squads include lake custodians who will be officials from the Bangalore Development Authority, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, the Forest Department, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, the Minor Irrigation Department and the Revenue Department. Empowered and authorised officers are also part of the squads.

The squads will have the powers to take legal action against offenders, even if they are government departments and bureaucrats. Both the wings will conduct daily drives to inspect lakes to prevent untreated sewage from entering lakes, improve water quality, monitor pollution, protect the interests of local residents and those associated with lakes, conserve aquatic species and clear encroachments.

Lake custodians and other stakeholders will meet on Saturday, after which the squads will become functional.

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