BENGALURU: Citizen groups, who work for protection of lakes, have submitted a memorandum to Governor Vajubhai Vala, which rejects the handover of the city’s lakes to the Minor Irrigation Department.
The groups are against the amendment to the Tank Development Act, which was passed in the Legislative Council on February 23. About 30 citizen groups signed the memorandum and submitted it at the Governor’s office on Tuesday.
The memorandum claims that the bill was adopted during ‘sparse attendance’ in the Assembly, and was passed ‘in haste’ the next day without any debate or discussion.Responding to the claims of Minister for Minor Irrigation Department T B Jayachandra, the memorandum states that until now the department was managing only irrigation tanks, which is different from handling lakes.
The document also questions the legality of the bill, stating that as per law, small water bodies are within jurisdiction of urban local bodies, in this case BBMP. “The life of a lake rests upon the quality of the inflow through storm water drains. This requires involvement of the BBMP which controls storm water drains in coordination with the BWSSB,” adds the document.
Madhu S Rao, co-founder of ‘Friends of Lakes,’ one of the groups which has signed the memorandum, said the move was driven by government’s dislike of Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) pointing out mistakes of other agencies. “KLCDA was like an external body trying to find mistakes. So this is a clear attempt to take them out of the picture.”