Residents' protest gives hope for reviving lake in Whitefield

Encroachment, dumping of debris push it towards extinction

Residents' protest gives hope for reviving lake in Whitefield

Residents of Whitefield staged a protest against illegal dumping of debris into the Pattandur Agrahara lake-1 on Saturday.

About 500 people, including schoolchildren, formed a human chain as part of the peaceful protest. 

The protesters played music and displayed placards with messages like `save Pattandur Agrahara lake,’ and `hands off our lake.’

On the night of October 25, about 50 trucks dumped construction debris on the lake bed. This happened because the lake has not been properly fenced, residents said.

The local tahsildar said the lake is owned by the revenue department.

A board has been erected at the spot, declaring that the land belongs to the revenue department and that those dumping debris there will be prosecuted. But this was done only a couple of days ahead of the protest. 

The BBMP handed over the lake to the Bangalore Development Authority in 2012. According to Mallikarjun, assistant engineer, BDA, “The lake has not been surveyed since there is a court case against the encroachment.”

It has been more than five years since the lake was surveyed last. Sandeep Anirudhan, one of the residents, said, “There has been encroachment for more than 20 years now. Authorities have erected a fence on one side only. Since it is open on the other side, it is easy for people to dump debris or mud into the lake.”

When asked about the illegal dumping of debris in the lake, area corporator S Muniswamy said, only five to six truckloads of debris was dumped and not 50 as reported.

“We have launched a protest to bring this to the attention of the authorities. A senior minister owns land right next to the lake. We don’t know if he has been preventing the survey from being conducted as his land might be extending up to the lake.”

After the protest, the corporator asked BDA engineers to hand over the lake to those who can look after it properly. Manoj John, a resident, said, “The authorities should make this green patch accessible to the public and revive the lake.”

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