BDA files complaint over attempt to encroach on Varthur lake

BDA files complaint over attempt  to encroach on Varthur lake

Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), the custodian of Varthur lake on Monday finally stepped in to save the dying water body from encroachments. 

On Monday, revenue and BDA officials inspected the spot following a recent video on encroachment that was doing the rounds on social media since Sunday. The BDA  lodged a complaint at Thubarahalli police station and informed the police to alert them in case of fresh encroachments.

BDA engineer member P N Nayak told DH, “Our officials tried to hunt down the people who were grabbing the lake area. They were claiming that the area belongs to them. However, they fled when we tried to question them further.”

The two-minute video shot by a local resident shows heaps of mud dumped on the lake bed and JCBs pushing the mud into the lake bed.

Survey to start soon
BDA engineer Veera Singh Naik who was at the spot said they plan to carry out a survey of the lake at the earliest with the support of the revenue department and have written to the revenue department about it on Monday.

"After this, we will get to know the extent of encroachment and take action against violators accordingly. The mud heaps and JCBs were found in survey numbers 43 and 53 in the lake area. After the survey, the lake will be fenced. Meanwhile, if we find  anyone trying to encroach the lake before the survey is completed, we will fine them Rs 5 lakh and hand them over to police," he added.

24 acres encroached
One of the officials from the survey department told DH that they had earlier carried out a survey of Varthur lake where around 24 acres were found to be encroached. “We had even issued notices against the erring individuals. However, it is the duty of the BDA to take stringent action against violators and put an end to encroachment. The encroachment has been taking place for the past two years and Sunday’s incident was not new," the official said.

BDA, however, said they were not informed about the survey and encroachment details. And hence could not take any action in the past, they maintained.

The resident who shot the video had stated in the video that around 100 trucks had entered the lake bed on April 22 and the following day. Two JCBs were seen pushing in the mud into the lake and levelling it.

Whitefield Rising (WR), a citizens’ movement that has been campaigning against lake encroachment and a host of civic issues in its survey report has maintained that a buffer zone of 75 metres from Varthur lake has not been maintained and the rajakaluve has been encroached upon.

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