BENGALURU: Deputy chief minister Dr G Parameshwara, who is also the Bengaluru in-charge minister, put on the decision of handing over Bellandur and Varthur lakes to Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) from Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) until the Karnataka Tank Conservation and Development Authority (KTCDA) was strengthened and removed from under the aegis of the Minor Irrigation Department (MID), on Tuesday.
The decision was taken at a meeting on maintenance and development of the lakes. “It was decided that till KTCDA is strengthened, the decision will be on hold. It was also decided to give more funds to BDA and BBMP to survey all lakes (33 under BDA and 57 under BBMP),” a source told TNIE.
Sources who were present at the meeting said, “It was decided that it is necessary to have a strong and separate lake authority for Bengaluru and its surrounding areas. After Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) was scrapped, all lakes were handed over to MID, and KTCDA was formed. Now the government has learnt that there is no irrigation possible at any of the city’s lakes, and that the MID is not handling work properly.”
The decision on whether the old KLCDA needs to be reinstated is yet to be taken. However, it has been agreed upon that there is a need for experts in handling the lakes. Officials from various departments said that the government has learnt from its past mistakes, realising the need for a scientific approach in protecting the lakes.
This delay in taking a concrete decision has irked the NGT committee. At the last meeting, state officials had said custody and maintenance of the lakes will be handed over to the BBMP. A committee member said, “It would have been better if Bellandur and Varthur were handed over to BBMP, as they have the money. The delay will only create more challenges.”