Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to aid revival of Kalena Agrahara lake

Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to aid revival of Kalena Agrahara lake

 Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday announced that Kalena Agrahara lake off Bannerghatta Road will be restored by March 2018 under local area development (MP-LAD) funds.

A part of the cost will be shared by the state government. The Rajya Sabha MP, however, sought to avoid controversy by stating that her role was limited to the development project and does not include reclaiming the encroached land in keeping with the National Green Tribunal orders. “I am not here to remove encroachment. I am here to make sure that the plan to develop the lake becomes a reality,” she said.

The small lake is choking with sewage and may soon suffer the same fate as that of Bellandur lake and others in the city. BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad said more than two acres of the 7.5-acre lake land has been encroached upon by several buildings. “According to the official files, the roads abutting the lake, the compound wall of an apartment and many houses fall within the lake land,” he said.

When a student who was present asked whether the BBMP will follow the NGT rule of insisting on a 75-metre buffer zone from the edge of the lake, Prasad said the Palike does not want to dwell on encroachment but to develop the remaining part of the lake.

MLA M Krishnappa requested the BBMP not to disturb the existing properties in the area. “These are houses of people who saved every rupee to build a place for themselves. Most of them are poor farmers who have come here 30 years ago, long before these rules came into forces. The slums will be demolished but those living there will be rehabilitated,” he said.

Earlier, Nirmala Sitharaman noted that the lake is a wetland area water body and no industry will be permitted to release affluents. “The water will be emptied, the silt and the sludge in the lake bed will be removed and the inlets and outlet utilities will be developed,” she said.

She said a detailed project report for the plan is yet to be prepared but added that development work will be completed by March 31, 2018. “I want the resident welfare associations to work with the officials. People have to work proactively to ensure that only treated water is released into the lake,” she said.

She said she would be able to provide Rs 1.5 crore and the state government has to share the rest of the cost.

Kolar village to be adopted

Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday that she will adopt a village in Kolar district. However, she said the details will be announced on Sunday. “It will be in addition to the works I have been doing in Mangaluru and Udupi as an MP of Karnataka,” she said.

Nirmala to have office in city

Rajya Sabha member and Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Nirmala Sitharaman will set up her MP’s office on Ali Askar Road in Bengaluru. The office, located at the Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) building, will be inaugurated at 9 am by BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa on Sunday. She will be available for interaction with the general public at least three days a month at the office, official sources said.

Project features

Clearing silt on lakebed
Constructing bunds
Real-time monitoring of water inflow
Outlet to allow flow of excess water to Gottigere
1-km walking path along the lake bordern Planting saplings in the open area

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