BANGALORE: The much debated Byrasandra Lake near Jayanagar which was transferred by the forest department to the BBMP is now the responsibility of Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) for its development. But today, this water body lies as barren as the Sahara Desert. According to a resident who has been living here for 70 years, the lake which was originally on an area of 28 acres is now reduced to about 14 acres due to encroachments and ownership disputes. A sum of `5.9 crores was set aside by the BBMP for fencing the entire area, but one can see no sign of implementation.
No work has been taken up either for cleaning the lake or for erecting a fence all along the lake. The residents from the surrounding areas of BTB colony, RBI colony and SRK Garden are furious with the government bodies for their lethargy and lack of initiative. According to Mallikarjuna, a representative of BBMP, 33 sites measuring 15ft by 20ft was allotted for housing purposes while its development was started by the forest department which sought to transform it into a tree park.
However, the lake was tossed between many authorities like BBMP, the forest department and BDA. Presently, the ownership lies in the hands of BBMP, but BDA is actually in charge of cleaning the lake and fencing it. Suresh kumar, a resident of BTB Colony, Jayanagar, is worried about the onset of summer. He lives next to the lake, which attracts a large number of insects, flies, caterpillars and other unwelcome creatures. This is due to the gigantic pile of garbage and run off sewage water, that percolates from the surrounding areas and is dumped into the unused lake.
The inhabitants of this area are struggling to get the authorities to take up the cleaning work, to ensure hygienic living conditions. When asked how long it was left untended, 40 years was the astonishing response. The families are living amidst grime, dirt, garbage and weeds. When will they come out of this misery? Only time can tell.
They further said that no one takes initiative to clean the garbage from the periphery of the lake. Higher authorities are unapproachable, so they find it impossible to tackle the situation. Even the crusader, Venkatasubba Rao fought for almost two decades to save the lake, it is a losing battle. The residents demand that the lake be cleaned, the garbage removed, the sewage water re-channeled and fencing to ensure a safe locality. “Once one man was killed at night amidst the weeds. How can one hope to help, when nothing can be seen in the dark?” said Lakshmamma (name changed).
Mallikarjuna, who spoke on behalf of Corporator Gangambika, said that the BBMP had handed over the project to BDA officials.