Initiatives to save lakes of Bangalore
Understanding the urgent need to restore and protect lakes, the Government of Karnataka constituted an Expert Committee vide G.O. No. PWD-82-IMB85, dated 26.07.85 headed by Shri N. Lakshman Rao, to study the problems and suggest remedies for the preservation and restoration of the existing lakes in the metropolitan area of Bangalore City.
The summary of recommendations of the Expert Committee are as given below:
- Existing tanks should not be breached but retained as water bodies.
- Efforts should be made to ensure that these tanks are not polluted by discharge of effluent and industrial wastes.
- Further, to prevent silting up of these tanks, off-shore development is to be taken up by large scale tree planting and also removal of encroachments.
- Those tanks which have already been breached should not be utilised for formation of sites but taken up to create tree parks.
- Existing tanks should be deweeded and aquatic life must be developed.
- The Bangalore Development Authority/Bangalore City Corporation/Minor Irrigation Department must remove encroachments on tank areas.
- Implementation of the recommendations should be reviewed periodically. For this purpose, the Forest Department, Bangalore Development Authority, Bangalore City Corporation, Minor Irrigation Department, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board and Town Planning Department may be involved.
- The responsibility for the maintenance of water bodies in a clean and safe condition should be with Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board.
- The possibility of construction of more tanks along the natural valleys which now have a run-off water should be examined and implementation taken up.
Appreciating the urgency for integrated development of lakes, the Department of Forest, Environment & Ecology, Government of Karnataka proposed the Constitution of the Lake Development Authority. The first of its kind in the country, the Lake Development Authority is now functional. The authority is chaired by the Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka.
- Restoring lakes and facilitating restoration of ground water table.
- EIA studies.
- Take remedial measures to restore & revitalise dying lakes & co-ordinate efforts of various organisations.
- Conserve lakes, facilitate restoration of depleting ground water table, improve environs.
- Protection, conservation, reclamation, restoration, regeneration & integrated development of lakes.
- Environmental planning & GIS mapping of lakes and surrounding areas.
- Monitoring and management of water quality and lake ecology.
- Utilising lakes for the purpose of education and tourism.