Lake rejuvenation: Ayukta pulls up officials for slackness

Bengaluru: Lokayukta Justice Vishwanath Shetty took stock on status of Byramangala Reservoir, Vrishabhavathi Valley, Sarakki Lake, Subramanyapura Lake and Talaghattapura lake, which was visited early this year. The Lokayukta wanted progress report to be submitted by the next hearing, scheduled for September 11. 

Justice Shetty observed that it seems the officials worked on for the reminders. Lokayukta had visited five lakes early this year and directed respective officials to perform their tasks on the basis of complaint filed by United Bengaluru on the pollution and encroachments of 25 lakes. 

The Lokayukta said, "Bengaluru is the only city in India that has the potential to be best city in India & Internationally. It is an irony that officials are to be reminded or pushed to ensure that they do their duty with all sincerity and commitment.

Representatives from the lakes were present to provide on-ground status report of the activities carried out by the officials. 

At Byramangala Reservoir and Vrishabhavathi Valley the representatives maintained that the health conditions of the villagers living around the reservoir have deteriorated since the soil is polluted and the groundwater is contaminated.

During the visit by United Bengaluru team, it was also found that the valley had witnessed rampant illegal sand mining.  

Freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy, who was present at the hearing, said, "The officials only request for the additional time but don't seem to finish their jobs. There are so many lakes in Bengaluru and out of which even if 10 are rejuvenated and its water is utilized for drinking, the city's water problem can be solved to a large extent. People won't have to depend on Cauvery water."

Subramanyapura lake
The Housing Department which was asked to allocate flats to the slum dwellers living around the lake is said to have provided housing for only 50% of the people. The Lokayukta has given a week's time to both the departments to furnish a status report.

Talaghattapura lake
Justice Shetty also expressed unhappiness that the BBMP Chief Engineer was not present and adjourned the proceeding of this lake to next hearing. He has directed the official to be present then. 

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