Residents and activists are preparing for another battle to conserve Agara Lake as a private firm has moved the high court to develop the waterbody according to an earlier lease agreement.
Agara was one of the four lakes handed over to private players by the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) in 2007 on a 15-year lease. Hebbal, Vengaiahnakere and Nagavara were the other three. The move had led to protests by lake activists and residents of HSR Layout.
The agency that got control of the lake was all set to build an amusement park in the waterbody when the high court stayed all kinds of development work in 2009 on a petition filed by the NGO, Environment Support Group (ESG).
But now, the firm has moved the court again, seeking control of the lake as the KLCDA was dissolved and the waterbody was handed over to the forest department.
The Agara Lake Protection and Management Society has alleged that the firm went to court following a dispute with the KLCDA.
“We are afraid the firm may win the case, and the lake which has been rejuvenated with huge public money will fall prey to privatisation,” said Kavitha Reddy, a lake activist and KPCC spokesperson who was involved
in the recent rejuvenation of the lake.
The society, comprising lake activists and locals, was formed a year ago to restore the lake.
“We worked hard and shaped the lake into what it is today. If the lake is turned into a commercial hub, there will be no room for plants and other species to sustain life. We will fight this.”
Another member of the society claims the forest department is unaware of the lake’s present condition.