Yet another outrage: road coming up on Sompura Lake

Yet another outrage: road coming up on Sompura Lake

Govt blind to multiple violations by builder

Yet another outrage: road coming up on Sompura Lake

Flouting all environmental and municipal laws, a builder is laying a road bang in the middle of a lake on Sarjapura main road.

The road leads to an apartment block, also illegal, coming up on the bed of Sompura Lake.

Ramesh Babu, Anekal deputy tahsildar, said he was trying to stop the construction.

"We have dug trenches on either side of the lake to prevent vehicles from entering it," Babu claimed.

But he contradicted himself, saying the gram panchayat had approved the road on the request of people living around it.

People in the area identified the builder as Papa Reddy. DH tried repeatedly to contact him, but he wouldn't answer calls.

Sompura Lake is spread over 52 acres and 7 guntas. It is a natural habitat for birds, especially grey hornbills, and many species of fish.

Vijay Nishanth, urban conservationist, has been documenting the lake's ornithology. The birds' numbers have shrunk since the construction of the road began, he told DH.

"The lake was filled to the brim during the monsoon last year. Now, we see mud instead of water," said Deepanjali Naik, who lives near the lake.

What initially looked like a path for pedestrians is becoming a full-fledged road for vehicles, an official at the tahsildar's office said.

Twenty-six such lakes in the area call for attention and revival, according to Joy V R, secretary, Sarjapura Residents' Welfare Association.

The city has been in the national news for its failure to protect precious waterbodies such as the Bellandur and Varthur Lakes.

M S Archana, chief executive officer, Bangalore Urban zilla panchayat, said she was not aware of the road coming up, and promised to look into it.

The National Green Tribunal allows no construction within 75 metres of a lake.

This road bisects Sompura Lake, and leads to an apartment block coming up illegally on the lake bed.