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Santosh Hegde-led panel to inspect city lakes soon

The committee, headed by former Supreme Court Judge Santosh Hegde, entrusted to oversee implementation of NGT directions related to the rejuvenation of lakes in the city, will inspect the lakes soon. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had constituted the committee a month ago. On Monday, the committee held its first formal meeting at the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) office. Hegde discussed the action plans for the rejuvenation of Bellandur, Varthur and Agara lakes with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) commissioner Manjunath Prasad, IISc scientist TV Ramachandra and members of other civic agencies present at the meeting.

 

“We have to first identify the NGT’s directions and based on this should conduct spot inspections. We have to find out what has already been accomplished and carry out the remaining work,” Hegde said. The committee is supposed to send periodic reports to the green bench.

He added: “We will conduct another meeting on January 30 to finalise the action plans required for the rejuvenation of the lakes. After this, we will conduct the spot inspections. The committee is only to make sure the NGT guidelines with respect to lakes are implemented.”

So far, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has identified and cleared the encroached areas in and around the Bellandur Lake.

According to sources, over six acres of the Bellandur Lake’s border encroached by slum dwellers (Belur Ambedkar Slum) has been cleared, and the Karnataka Slum Clearance Board has been entrusted with the responsibility to rehabilitate the slum dwellers. The area encroached for agriculture purpose at the lake’s border towards Amani Bellandur Khane village has been cleared. Likewise, other property owners who had grabbed the lake’s border have been evicted, and some are slated to be evicted soon, the sources added.

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