Survey of buildings located too close to lakes begins

Survey of buildings located too close to lakes begins

KLCDA starts marking buffer zone of waterbodies as per NGT ruling

Survey of buildings located too close to lakes begins

After rajakaluves (stormwater drains/feeder canals), Bengaluru’s lakes may also get free of encroachments.

The Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) has started a survey to identify properties that have come up between 30 and 75 metres of lakebeds. This comes even as the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) drive to clear encroachments on rajakaluves is underway.

The survey will cover all buildings — completed, occupied and under-construction — located 30-75 metres from lakes.

It aims to ensure compliance with a May 2016 ruling of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to maintain a 75-metre buffer zone around lakes. Once the survey is completed, a detailed report will be submitted to the Legislature Committee on Lake Encroachment headed by Assembly Speaker K B Koliwad.

The committee will decide whether to keep 75 metres as buffer zone or reduce it to 50 or 30 metres, amend the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act or recommend moving the Supreme Court for altering the buffer zone, a KLCDA official told DH.

According to the official, the government may order demolition of properties around lakebeds once stormwater drains are cleared of encroachments. And the committee’s final report will form the basis for that action, if any.

“If the 75-metre buffer zone is implemented in totality, one third of properties in Bengaluru will be demolished, a large chunk of them around Whitefield, Electronics City and Hebbal. The BBMP and the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) are ready with 60% of the report and have submitted it to the committee,” the official said.

The survey has been based on field assessment, original town planning maps and maps obtained from the Karnataka Remote Sensing Agency. As per the KLCDA website, Bengaluru has 210 lakes.

The KLCDA manages four lakes — Agara, Hebbal, Nagawara and Vengaiahnakere, while the BBMP is the custodian of 60 lakes, the BDA 123, the Minor Irrigation Department 18 lakes and the Forest Department five.

At the committee’s previous meeting, Koliwad had told officials of forest department, the KLCDA, the BBMP, the BDA, the Revenue Department and the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) that no encroacher should be spared and that all waterbodies conserved to avoid flooding.

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