Lokayukta recommends A Joint Committee to be formed to protect lakes

September 12, 2018; Bengaluru: Following the complaint filed by United Bengaluru in a bid to Reclaim and Protect our lakes, Hon’ble Lokayukta of Karnataka on Tuesday formed a Joint Committee which will coordinate and work towards rejuvenating all the lakes in Bengaluru.

The committee will comprise of officials from BBMP, BDA, KSPCB, Minor Irrigation, Revenue Department and BWSSB and has been instructed by the Lokayukta to meet regularly to deliberate and discuss steps needed to rejuvenate lakes. The committee has also been instructed to submit the status report to Lokayukta. Members of the committee will be assigned by respective heads of the aforementioned authorities and the same will be shared with the Lokayukta.

Background to United Bengaluru’s petition to Lokayukta

On August 3, 2017, United Bengaluru, led by veteran freedom fighter Shri H.S. Doreswamy, filed a complaint to highlight the criminality, negligence and executive apathy towards maintenance and rehabilitation of Bengaluru’s lakes. In the complaint, the extent of deterioration of 25 waterbodies due to encroachments, illegal dumping and inflow of untreated sewage was highlighted. Each department submitted the status report on the development work carried out at each lake.

It was bought to Hon’ble Lokayukta’s notice that officials are working only after the direction from Lokayukta and not on their own. The development work has begun only because of court proceedings. If the officials had taken up the initiative before the proceedings, all our lakes would have been in better condition.

Suresh NR, Convener, United Bengaluru said, “The common practice of diverting untreated sewage from upstream lakes to lower lying lakes without a proper system of treating this sewage has resulted in a free flow of sewage across the city and into our lakes creation a public health crisis. What Bengaluru needs is a comprehensive City-wide lakes rejuvenation plan. We would urge both BBMP and BWSSB to treat the sewage before releasing it into lakes and ensure only rain water is allowed to flow into storm water drains”

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