Sarjapur residents protest lake encroachment

Residents of Yamare village near Sarjapur and a few residents of Sarjapur on Friday protested against the alleged violations taking place on the bed of the Yamare lake.

Published: 14th April 2018 06:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th April 2018 05:38 PM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Residents of Yamare village near Sarjapur and a few residents of Sarjapur on Friday protested against the alleged violations taking place on the bed of the Yamare lake. The lake bed lies next to the panchayat office itself.

Residents alleged that a road was being illegally built on the Yamare lake bed such that it covers a rajakaluve. Also, construction debris were being dumped on the lake bed since the past few months, they said. In addition, they claimed that a church was built in the lake’s buffer zone and a compound wall, part of an upcoming construction by Confident Group, has been erected beside the lake’s fence without leaving any space. The land for the church was donated by Confident Group, they said.

On Friday morning, residents gathered near the lake with banners to protest. Narayan Swamy, a resident of Sarjapur and a former member of the Yamare village panchayat, said documents showed the width of the rajakaluve to be around 50 ft, but encroachment had reduced it to just 3-4 ft.

“By blocking the passage of water through this rajakaluve, the water inlet to many other lakes, including a the 200-acre Sarjapura Doddakere, is being blocked. The illegal road has been constructed for a length of almost 1 km,” he said.

Members of a citizens' forum called “Voice of Sarjapur” have also campaigned for the lake and have approached multiple officials regarding it, but to no avail. A member said the panchayat members had told them that the road was approved by Assistant Director of Land Records.

“People who own property around are also not happy because closing the rajakaluve will cause flooding on roads and backyards during the monsoon,” the member added.

A spokesperson for Confident Group said the erected structures were temporary and could be removed later. The spokesperson added that the land on which the church had come up had been donated to them by the group, which was not responsible for it any more.

The tahsildar of the area during the time when the road construction started said he was not aware of the issue.

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