One Authority for Lakes Please: Citizens'Groups
Various citizen groups involved in protecting lakes demanded that the responsibility for lake development should lie with one government agency, which should be empowered adequately to be able to prosecute those who attempt encroachments or dump effluents into the lake.
At present there are at least three agencies that manage the lakes in the city- the BBMP, BDA and the Lake Development Authority. Inspite of this, lakes continue to shrink and disappear. This demand is part of a draft memorandum that citizen groups are preparing following a workshop on protecting lakes, organised by the Save Bangalore Lakes Trust.
“Bangalore is sitting on a time bomb of depleting and degrading quality of sources of water. One of the solutions lies in restoration of lakes for recharging its ground water to meet some of the water needs of the city,” said Arbind Gupta, member of the Arakere Neighbourhood Improvement Trust. The memorandum demands that there should not be a Sewage Treatment Plant near lakes and that sewage water should be separated from storm water drains and this water should be released to lakes only after treatment.
Citizens also demanded that a transparent and common policy be implemented with respect to lake rejuvenation and that citizens should be involved in decision making processes. Balasubramanian T who has been trying to save the Haralakunte lake, along with residents of the area, pointed out that it was not easy to protect a lake. “Despite the efforts of citizens who are trying to save so many lakes, only about 10 lakes in the entire city have been successfully saved,” he said. “The objective of the workshop was to bring people together to share their success stories and brainstorm solutions to problems they have faced in their efforts to save a lake in their area,” said Gupta.