BANGALORE: A large number of residents of Koramangala, HSR Layout and Bellandur staged a protest at Agara here on Sunday against mega projects on the flood plains of Bellandur lake.
The protesters claimed that two real estate developers were carrying out illegal construction on the lake area spread across 360 hectares.
“We have been fighting against these constructions for the past several months and have even filed public interest litigation (PIL) petition. How can constructions come up on a wetland and a zone declared as sensitive? This will result in not just endangering the water body, but will also increase the traffic density in the area,” claimed Vishwanath Kashyap, a resident of Koramangala.
Land development projects will not only destroy the raja kaluves but also the Belandur lake, said Harini from Hasiru Usiru, an NGO.
Raising the issue of a large quantity of water being supplied to land development projects while locals are facing water shortage, Nitin Seshadri, member of the Koramangala Residents’ Welfare Association, said: “Most residents of Bellandur, including those residing on Sarjapur Road and Outer Ring Road depend on private water tankers and the groundwater table is dangerously low.” He added that though locals are facing water shortage, as much as 150 million litres of water is being supplied every month to land development projects in the area.
S. Subramanya, another resident, said Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) had announced plans of rejuvenating Bellandur lake. “Even if there is a plan for reviving the lake, who is going to undo the damage that has already been inflicted due to the land development projects in the vicinity?” he questioned.
Shilpi Sahu, a resident of Bellandur, said there is a lack of lung spaces such as lakes and parks in the city. “People need spaces in the city for outdoor activities like jogging and cycling,” she said.
The protesters urged the government to withdraw the permission granted for the land development projects. They demanded that the permission granted by the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) and No Objection Certificate (NOC) issued by Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) be revoked immediately.