Brigade Group accused of dumping soil in Varthur lake

Brigade Group accused of dumping soil in Varthur lake

Police seize trucks on complaint from volunteers; firm says 'looking into the matter'

Brigade Group accused of dumping soil in Varthur lake

Citizen volunteers from Thubarahalli and AECS Layout say real estate major, Brigade Group, is dumping soil on the Varthur lakebed in southeastern Bengaluru.

On April 27, a group of volunteers noticed trucks streaming out of Brigade Tech Garden in Brookefields Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and headed for the Varthur lakebed near Vibgyor High.

“We called the police who swung into action and seized five to six trucks the same day. A cursory examination showed that the samples of soil taken from Brigade Tech Garden and the lakebed were the same,” said a volunteer, who would not be quoted.

The volunteers have been keeping a close watch ever since a local resident filmed earthmovers dumping soil in the Varthur lakebed recently. The video spurred the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), the custodian of Varthur lake, to file a police complaint. Residents said the police were yet to make arrests.

According to residents, trucks have been dumping soil in the lakebed for several months now but government agencies failed to act. “We gave police the registration number of at least seven trucks that dumped soil on the lakebed. Government agencies must take the case to its logical conclusion. We suggest that they check the composition of soil from the two sites and enquire with local residents,” another volunteer said.

When contacted, Veersingh Nayak, executive engineer, BDA, said action could be taken only after an ongoing survey to determine the lake’s extent was completed. “The survey started a few days ago.

Once it is complete, we can find out the lake area and extent of encroachment. We will certainly take action once we have substantial evidence,” he told DH.

Brigade responds
“We are shocked to hear this. The immediate action we have taken is to investigate the complaint. If true, we will certainly hold the contractor responsible. As a responsible corporate citizen, we expect our contractors to dump any construction material only in authorised and permitted areas. We will certainly take strict action on the contractors if they are found guilty,” Brigade Group said in a statement.

DH News Service