Amid a huge protest against the encroachment of water bodies, the government has decided to shrink a part of the Gottigere lake on Bannerghatta road for the namma metro project. This lake is said to be 500 years old. This lake is an upstream lake of Hulimavu lake and Madiwala lake, which is spread on the eastern side of the Bannerghatta road. It has suffered encroachments repeatedly and also the sewage water inflow has polluted and degraded the lake badly.
In a meeting held between BBMP and BMRCL, it was decided to widen the Bannerghatta road by 10-15 feet. The road runs on the boundary of the Gottigere lake. A part of the lake will be lost in the process. A concrete wall will be constructed on the dried up portion of the lake.
According to an official it was easier to shrink lakes after the abolition of the Karnataka Lake Conservation of Development Authority (KLCDA) as KLDCA Act is also lost.
Locals and expert authorities in this field are not in favor of this idea as the lake was once home to migratory birds and needs to be restored.
The lake has already lost its identity, if shrunk further, nothing much will be left.
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The residents of Madiwala and BTM layout who come in the morning for a walk and residents living around the lake were in for a shock as they found the fish and snails heaped around Madiwala Lake, raising unbearable stink in the water body.
The State Forest Department maintains the Madiwala lake which receives sewage and storm water from surrounding localities. Several residents, who complained about the stink, said sewage from the drain flowing into the lake due to a breach in a bund had depleted oxygen levels causing the large fish and snails kill and authorities concerned had done nothing despite repeated complaints but the forest department said it was a natural phenomenon.
Madiwala lake is one of the biggest lakes in Benglauru which is around 300 years old. It is situated in the BTM Layout. It is a home to many migratory birds. The lake comes under the administration of Karnataka State Forest Department which carries out the routine maintenance of this lake.
The incident comes at a time when there is a growing concern by environmentalists over polluted lakes, exemplified by the thick froth and flames from the Yamlur lake that caused ripples in the city.
The forest officials said that the lake was earlier being maintained by the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) in coordination with the forest department. But after KLCDA was disbanded, the work and funds were yet to be transferred to the forest department.
The Minor Irrigation Department, which is now in charge of all lakes has also not acted. G T Thimme Gowda, executive engineer, Bengaluru, Minor Irrigation Department said that the lake falls under BBMP limits and the municipality is in charge of it.