Desperate to get water, people have drilled nearly 10 illegal borewells in Muthanalluru lakebed. The lake is located near Sarjapur village in South-east Bengaluru.
Amid concerns by activists, the local panchayat has decided to launch a crackdown on those who drilled the borewells in the lake without their permission, alleging that nearly 200 tankers haul 5,000 litres of water a day.
Being the only source for charging the ground water, the lake, which is filled with water, serves 20 villages in the vicinity.
Activists in the area said water tankers ruthlessly exploit the water body. “This’s one of the oldest active lakes in the city,” said Major Santhosh Kumar who lives close to the lake.
“Some borewells were drilled near the lake five months ago. Over the last 15 days, more than 10 unauthorised borewells had come up within the lake’s buffer zone,” Major Santhosh Kumar added.
He said the offenders secured power to run the motors from Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited saying they need water for agriculture. “Generally, commercial borewell diggers buy land in the lake’s periphery from the farmers to illegally draw water,” he said.
Under the Karnataka Groundwater (Regulation and Control of Development and Management) Act, 2011, every borewell in the city should be registered. The notification said violators would be fined Rs 10,000 and/or given three-year prison term.
Anekal Tashildar Mahadev C admitted that borewells were drilled in the lakebed without his permission. “The offenders didn’t take permission; nor do they have proper licenses to drill the bores. Our staff is probing the matter and I’ll take action if they’re proven guilty,” he said.
An acute water shortage has hit the Mahadevapura zone, including Sarjapura Road. In the last few days, borewells are being drilled on footpaths and lakebeds in Bellandur and Varthur areas.
Tankers carrying water from these borewells are possibly supplying water to apartments along Sarjapura Road from Kaikondrahalli to Sarjapura village.