August 27, 2021 5:12:44 pm
The Karnataka revenue department, which recently reclaimed two dried up lakes in the Anekal area of Bengaluru rural district, decided to shift the social forestry nurseries located on the lakes to alternative sites.
The Chandapura and Muthanallur lakes at Anekal, on which the nurseries were earlier set up after the lakes dried up, were reclaimed by the revenue department last week after clearing encroachments.
The Chandapura lake was reclaimed after 40 years and officials in the revenue department said the real estate price of the encroached lake area is around Rs 30 crore.
“After the Chandapura lake had dried up, in 1988, a part of the lake was transferred to the forest department by the Karnataka government to set up a social forestry nursery. The lake’s presence was in the village map of 1923 and therefore, I had requested the government to carry out a survey. At Muthanallur lake, the nursery was set up in 2017,” said Capt (retd) Santhosh Kumar, founder of the Anekal Taluk Environment Protection Federation.
“A Karnataka High Court order clearly states that encroachments from the lakes should be removed. After the encroachments were demolished, it was decided that the nurseries could be set up elsewhere while retaining the lakes,” Kumar said.
The Karnataka Forest Department (KFD) had set up a nursery in the 2.17-acre land of the 2.39-acre lake while 0.22-acre land was encroached by illegal buildings.
The lake was known as a nursery in Anekal till the government discovered a village map of 1923 which showed the place to be the Chandapura Lake.
At the Muthanallur Lake, the forest department set up the social forestry nursery in 2017 on a 2.5-acre land of the 90-acre lake.
“In the village maps, there are 240 lakes in Anekal taluk alone and most of them are encroached. Acting on the High Court’s order, the government is reclaiming all the lakes one by one,” Kumar said.
Bengaluru urban deputy commissioner J Manjunath said since the lakes are being restored, alternate land will be given to the forest department to set up a nursery. “There is no problem in giving land for this purpose. The revenue department will identify the land and we will go ahead,” he said.
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