New shanties coming up on Bellandur Lake to house migrants

Last Updated 21 May 2018, 20:44 IST

Despite complaints from the residents, illegal constructions continue to mushroom along the peripheries of the Bellandur Lake, further complicating an already delicate ecological situation.

Makeshift tents, huts and partially built structures have come up around the lake, deemed illegal as residents said they are put up on the lake's buffer zone. Shalini (name changed) said the illegal structures are making a bad situation worse.

"None of these makeshift accommodations have running water," she said. "Fact is, they have no basic amenities and open defecation is quite common."

A majority of those occupying the shanties are migrant workers and daily wage labourers. "Some of them are also ragpickers. They bring their collection and segregate it on the lakeside. They burn the waste or dump it in the lake," said S S Singh, another resident.

Several structures, which are nothing more than asbestos sheets clamped to bamboo poles, fill the space between the Dodamma temple on the lakeside and Suncity area.

"These have come up in recent times, with the officials away on poll duty," Singh said. "We also think that those living there are illegal migrants. Local leaders promised to look into such issues, but no action has been taken."

Residents have informed the lake marshals about the illegal constructions. The issue has also gone viral on social media.

"New Bangladeshi settlements coming up right on Bellandur lake. They’re not just in West Bengal, Assam or the other North-eastern states; they’re everywhere, across the country," tweeted Major Gaurav Arya. "If they are so keen to come to India, why should they have a separate country?"

Speaking to Deccan Herald, BBMP Commissioner M Maheshwar Rao said the issue has not been brought to his notice. "I am not aware of it. It's between the BDA (Bangalore Development Authority) and us to handle the lake. We'll examine it and solve the issue," Rao said.

(Published 21 May 2018, 16:16 IST)

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