The Karnataka government has announced that as part of efforts to clear lakes in the Bengaluru region from encroachments, as ordered by the Karnataka High Court, 236 acres of land in 114 lakes in the Bengaluru Urban district have been recovered.
According to a response provided last week in the Karnataka legislative council by state Revenue Minister R Ashok, encroachments were found in 1100 of the 1500 lakes in Bengaluru and the major urban and rural regions. In over 1100 lakes, the government has eliminated encroachments in the shape of unauthorised buildings, he added.
Fencing and border work is being done in the saved lakes, the minister said, adding, that in the previous two months, 236 acres in 114 lakes in the Bengaluru Urban area had been reclaimed.
The Karnataka High Court has ruled that lakes be protected by prohibiting buildings within 30 metres of their boundaries. Bengaluru Urban deputy commissioner J Manjunath stated: ‘Surveys are being carried out after which we carry out eviction drives. On September 18, we recovered 18 acres of lakes in Bengaluru urban worth Rs 30.73 crore. It is an ongoing initiative. We are acting on the Karnataka High Court’s order.’
KA Hidayathulla, the government’s joint secretary, directed the BBMP to remove encroachments inside 30-meter buffer zones around lakes, tanks and rivers in August.
The delay in eliminating the encroachments is due to the continuing assessment of the lakes and tanks, said the BBMP lakes department. ‘Once the survey is completed we will go lake-wise to remove the encroachments. Wherever the survey is completed the encroachments are removed,’ the officials said.