Metro destroying Pattandur Agrahara Lake, say residents

Yet another city lake could be losing its identity. This time, the culprit is Namma Metro. Shockingly, the authorities concerned are looking the other way.

Local residents say metro workers have been dumping debris and construction waste in Pattandur Agrahara Lake, East Bengaluru. The lakebed has almost dried up and resembles a barren land. Interestingly, the dumping happens mostly at night.

It all started in September 2017, according to Sandeep R A, a resident. The matter was brought to the notice of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), the waterbodys custodian, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB).

But no action was taken. Now, the lakebeds height is being increased so that it resembles the buffer zone of the lake. “It is actually the lake which is being encroached on,” Sandeep said.

Govind, another resident, said: “Every night, trucks unload construction waste into the lake. Looking at the heap, one can easily make out its more than 100 truckloads. The BDAs Revised Master Plan-2031 does not show any road passing through or near the lake. This clearly means that officials have decided to remain silent.”

Residents see the activity as a clear violation of the NGT orders on maintaining a 75-metre buffer zone around lakes in the city. It is also violative of the KLCDA Act, they say. They launched a signature campaign which has got over now. They plan to submit the signatures to government agencies and the Lokayukta. The next step would be filing a PIL petition in the court to save the waterbody.

When contacted, BDA engineers claimed nothing happened until a week ago and that the matter wasnt brought to their notice. Nonetheless, they promised to look into the matter.

U A Vasanth Rao, chief public relations officer, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL), said on Twitter: “BMRC is committed for (sic) environmental safety and protection. The exact map location may please be shared to identify and take corrective action.”

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