Whenever the city lakes foam, civic authorities start the mutual blame game and the common citizen finds it extremely difficult to find out who really is responsible. Lake ownership is divided between Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), BBMP and Lake Development Authority (LDA). Despite several warnings by the State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), all these agencies have failed to rejuvenate and protect even a single lake. It is often blamed that BDA and LDA’s poor expertise in implementing lake rejuvenation programmes with the community participation is one of the reasons for the poor condition of the city lakes.
In a decision which is expected to have far reaching impact on the protection and development of the city lakes, state government has decided to hand over the ownership of 60 lakes of the city from BDA to BBMP. According to the notification issued by the state government through state gazette dated November 17, the list of these 60 lakes include Bellandur Lake, Varthur Lake, Mahadevapura Lake etc which are all in news for excess foaming and pollution levels.
According to the notification issued by the state government the ownership of these lakes will remain with the State Revenue Department. “But BBMP is entrusted with the responsibility of rejuvenation of these lakes and bringing them back to their original shape,” it is stated in the notification.
According to the notification, BBMP has been directed to evict all the encroachments before taking up the lake development/ rejuvenation works. BBMP is also directed to ensure that untreated water will not mix with the lake water. State government has also directed the BBMP to utilise the services of LDA and BBMP forest cell officials to make sure that lake rejuvenation works will be completed on priority basis.
According to the sources in BDA, the decision to hand over the lakes from BDA to BBMP was taken as the BDA was not in a position to implement the lake rejuvenation works effectively due to a huge pressure on the authority. “Initially in the year 2010, 117 lakes were handed over to BDA for developmental works. But as per the estimation done by the BDA around Rs.2000 Crores is required to rejuvenate all these lakes. As BDA is engaged in the implementation of mega infrastructure projects in the city it is not in a position to invest this amount of money on lakes. So it has been decided to hand over all these lakes to the BBMP,” said an officer.