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Lakes of Bengaluru: Once revived, Talaghattapura lake yearns for maintenance

A Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) document states that the lake is spread over an extent of 19.39 acre, of which 2.72 acre has been encroached.

The Talaghattapura lake located in the R R Nagar zone. (Express photo by Jithendra M)

Located in the R R Nagar zone, the Talaghattapura lake, once a pristine waterbody, is now encroached and lack of maintenance has further deteriorated the quality of water in the lake.

A Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) document states that the lake is spread over an extent of 19.39 acre, of which 2.72 acre has been encroached.

In 2017, the custody of the lake was transferred to BBMP from Bangalore Development Authority (BDA). When the NGO Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) visited the lake on June 17, 2017 along with local residents, activists and experts, they found debris dumped in the lake and sewage entering the waterbody. The NGO then filed a police complaint at the Talaghattapura police station.

When the NGO Namma Bengaluru Foundation visited the lake on June 17, 2017, they found debris dumped in the lake and sewage entering the waterbody. (Express photo by Jithendra M)

In 2018, Justice Vishwanath Shetty visited the lake and directed the civic authorities to survey the lake and identify the encroachments. It was then that the BBMP estimated that the lake has encroachments. In the 2.72 acre of the encroached area, a layout BDA, residential buildings and roads have come up.

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Trustee of Mission Disha NGO and a member of Friends of Lakes (a citizens’ collective to save lakes), Chaithanya Subrahmanya said that in 2011, the lake was restored at a cost of Rs 4 crore but later it returned to the same condition.

After the visit in 2017, the NGO filed a police complaint at the Talaghattapura police station. (Express photo by Jithendra M)

Subrahmanya said, “In 2011, during Shobha Karandlaje’s (then Karnataka’s energy minister) tenure, the lake was restored at a cost of Rs 4 crore but later the condition worsened because raw sewage entered the water body from the nearby village. Then debris was dumped in the lake, there was open defecation, the fence around the lake was broken and encroachments were rampant. In 2017, NGO Namma Bengaluru Foundation visited the lake. Along with them we filed a case in the Lokayukta pertaining to the condition of the lake.”

In 2021, the lake was rejuvenated at a cost of Rs 4.5 crore but lack of maintenance has made the residents apprehensive.

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In 2018, Justice Vishwanath Shetty visited the lake and directed the civic authorities to survey the lake and identify the encroachments. (Express photo by Jithendra M)

“Since the sewage line has been diverted, the lake does not receive sewage but there is accumulation of silt in the water body. The sedimentation pond adjacent to the lake is also filled with silt. Water hyacinth has grown in the lake. I have spoken with the authorities and they say that a tender has been floated to desilt the lake and water hyacinth will be removed. The fencing is also not complete. Even when rejuvenation was on there were attempts to encroach parts of the lake,” Subrahmanya added.

Sudhakara P N, president of Banashankari 6th stage 4T block, a Resident Welfare Association (RWA), said, “There is an enormous effort that is put up by the volunteers to restore the lake. Today, the lake is in a shape where one can at least walk around it. Still, I believe that maintenance is required. A few more facilities are required for the senior citizens. There is a problem of silt deposition in the lake which needs to be removed.”

Trustee of Mission Disha NGO and a member of Friends of Lakes (a citizens’ collective to save lakes), Chaithanya Subrahmanya said that in 2011, the lake was restored at a cost of Rs 4 crore but later it returned to the same condition. (Express photo by Jithendra M)

In September this year, after the rain marooned parts of the city, the state government came under heavy criticism for the lack of preparedness during the rain. State revenue minister R Ashok then acknowledged the encroachment of lakes by BDA and BBMP.

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“Out of the 42 lakes in Bengaluru which have ceased to exist, 28 have been swallowed by BDA, five by BBMP and others by the encroachers,” he told the media.

In the same month, chief minister Basavaraj Bommai had ordered an inquiry into the encroachment of lakes.

First published on: 04-12-2022 at 08:00 IST
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