With an order for the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) to shift electric poles from the storm-water drains and lakes in Anekal taluk and nearby areas yet be complied with even after a year, a citizens’ collective is planning to knock on court doors.
Captain Santhosh Kumar (retired), founder of the Anekal Environment Protection Federation, said the poles posed a threat to workers and cattle, and would hamper the efforts to restore the lakes and storm-water drains.
“We have faced harrowing time in getting the electric poles removed from the lakes and rajakaluves (storm-water drains). Despite the order from the urban deputy commissioner’s office, the poles are still not removed. Unless they are removed, restoration cannot proceed since they pose a threat to the workers and cattle. The storm-water drain network, which is broken because of either encroachment or other reasons, is being re-established by the government and residents together. So the removal of these poles is vital for the restoration,” he said.
Kumar also said Bescom did not appear to have consulted the survey maps of the lakes and drains before erecting the poles.
“No permission was taken from the revenue department before these poles were installed in lakes and drains. The court is the only option left before us if the orders are not complied with,” he said.
Bengaluru Urban deputy commissioner K Srinivas told indianexpress.com that he would take action on the order of his predecessor J Manjunath, whose July 2021 letter to Bescom read, “The electric poles along the storm-water drain network connecting the Muthanallur lake to the Bathala lake are posing a serious threat to the lives of people and also cattle. The poles have to be removed immediately and shifted to a proper place.”
And in April 2021, the minor irrigation department sent a letter to the power utility to remove the electric poles from the drains.
A government official said that contractors encroached on the lakes and drains because residents would not allow electric poles to be erected on their land.