Bangalore International Centre had arranged a panel discussion on “Did BDA encroach lakes?” on Monday, 1st June, 2015 2015 at 6.30 PM at its auditorium. The panellists were Mr. Jayakar Jerome, former Commissioner of BDA and Mr. Abraham Kuruvilla, Management Consultant and Chairman, CIVIC Bengaluru. Dr. A Ravindra, former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Karnataka chaired and moderated the discussions.
Mr. Jerome in his presentation brought out certain facts regarding the background and processes that are being followed in land acquisition process. He emphasized that BDA has no part in acquiring lands. The Deputy Commissioner concerned will acquire the lands with due process and then hand it over to BDA for further development. Thereafter, BDA following certain set-out procedures will form layouts after getting due approval from the State Government. He also informed that BDA is not only allotting sites but also taking the responsibility of developing infrastructures like flyovers, lake developments etc. Mr. Jerome also brought out the fact that some lakes were breached by the government itself to avoid malaria menace during 1970s. He was clear that the lakes which have disappeared cannot be revived; however, those which have remained should be preserved with zeal.
Mr. Kuruvilla in his lucid presentation had informed that Bengaluru was earlier known for lakes and there were lots of lakes in and around Bengaluru. But, due to the wrong decisions by the authorities concerned, majority of the lakes were virtually killed. He quoted some examples- Kempambhudi lake where the present Kempegowda Bus station is located, Karnataka Golf Association where there was a lake, Sampangiramanagara lake where the present Kanteerava Stadium is built and so on.
Dr. Ravindra in his remarks indicated that BDA is not the organization which is responsible for lake encroachment. However, acts of omission and commission of several governmental agencies, as well as developers and builders have contributed to this process. He emphasized that in addition to the Lake Development Authority the local residents should form associations to preserve the present lakes.