BENGALURU: Members of United Bengaluru, the watchdog committee for the city’s lakes,inspected three lakes on Saturday and found rampant violations in all three. They also caught a person red-handed when he was dumping sewage in Sompura lake.
The team of lake and urban
experts, members of lake groups, elected representatives and government officials visited Gubbalala, Talaghattapura and Sompura lakes. Among the team was former freedom fighter H S Doreswamy.
Incidentally, the team caught a truck dumping sewage into a stormwater drain leading to Sompura lake. They took the driver along with the truck to Talaghattapura police station and filed a complaint. Prior to this, the team had registered a complaint at the same station against encroachment and dumping of debris in Gubbala and Talaghattapura lakes.
Earlier, flow of untreated sewage, runoff from Lingadheeranahalli composting plant and rampant dumping of garbage into the lake were also reported.
According to the Koliwad committee report, five guntas have been encroached upon at Gubbalala lake, which is under the BDA’s custody. The team found debris and garbage in the lake. They also found untreated sewage, which flows under the BWSSB water supply line and is diverted into a stormwater drain before entering the lake.
At Thalaghattapura lake in Hemmigepura Ward (RR Nagar), which is also under the BDA’s care, there has been rampant dumping of debris and garbage and flow of sewage. According to the Koliwad committee report, 2 acres and 29 guntas have been encroached. They found water tankers filling water from a borewell, which is said to have been illegally dug near the lake. The team also found local slum dwellers and construction workers openly defecating around the lakes.
Citizen activist Ashwin Mahesh, who was part of the team, said, “Government agencies keep passing the buck when it comes to taking ownership of these lakes. It is still unclear who citizens should contact to report encroachment or dumping of debris and garbage. The Urban Development Department should appoint a nodal department that can look after the lakes.”