Rampant encroachment at Varthur lake, say residents

Squatters turn catchment into open toilet; rubble piling up at night

Rampant encroachment at Varthur lake, say residents

Dumping of garbage and construction debris continues unabated on the banks and catchment area of Varthur lake, according to locals and members of Whitefield Rising.

They point out that even after clear directions from Chief Secretary Subhash C Khuntia and Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Development Department (UDD), Mahendra Jain to civic agencies to prevent dumping and take action against offenders, nothing has changed.

“People are dumping construction material on the catchment of Varthur lake, Varthur Kodi and near Belegere road. Many squatters are also using the area near Munekolala as an open toilet. All illegal activities happen uninterrupted at night as there are no cameras,” said Munikumar, a local from Varthur.

The locals also point out that Tuburahalli road has become a mess because of dumping, especially after heavy rain over the past few days. The flow of water into the drain has also been blocked.

Shivanna, another local from Varthur, said that though BDA officials are custodians of Bellandur and Varthur lakes, the BBMP is fencing the area around a temple tank in Ramagondanahalli. “It is strange why BBMP is fencing the kalyani when encroachment and illegal widening of the kuchcha road is happening near it,” he said.

Ambika Sen, member of Varthur Lake Protection, an arm of Whitefield Rising, said there is no police security and no officials to keep watch over the lake. “Vehicles dump waste around Varthur Kodi at night. This has been happening for many days. The area is being levelled with cement,” she said.

The Bangalore Development Authority and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) however feigned ignorance about the dumping. They also said they were unaware of the road widening work in the Varthur catchment area.

BDA commissioner Rakesh Singh told DH, “I was not aware of this. Now, since the matter has been brought to my notice, it will be attended to immediately. I will ensure there is security in place,” he said.

Patrolling

Another BDA official said there is one vehicle with six personnel. Apart from this, there are three policemen and three security guards. “Patrolling is being done at Varthur and Bellandur lakes. But BBMP must prevent dumping,” the official said.

Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner, Health and Solid Waste Management, BBMP said cameras have been installed at seven strategic places around Bellandur lake and its catchment area. The footage will be studied to identify vehicles dumping garbage and action will be taken against them.


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