The Bengaluru police have registered a first information report (FIR) against lake activist Sandeep Anirudhan at the Whitefield Police Station based on a complaint by the city's civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). The activist has for long contended that a road project in the Pattandur Agrahara area of the city falls in the buffer zone of a lake. The BBMP has denied such a lake exists.
The case against Sandeep Anirudhan was filed on May 5 under Sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for âspreading propagandaâ against BBMP officials and inciting people against the road project through social media posts. The activist, however, contends that none of his social media posts incited rioting of any form and that the road construction works have been progressing since October 2021 with no obstructions. "None of the social media posts incites rioting in any form and the illegal road formation works have been continuously progressing since October 2021 up until now. Neither I nor anyone else has obstructed that work, even though it is illegal," Sandeep Anirudhan said.
The BBMP contends that the road is not being built in the lake buffer area. However, the revised master plan of the BBMP in 2015 does not mention that there is a lake at all. While the subsequent report rectified this error, this is something that Sandeep had raised.
The BBMP complaint filed against Sandeep states, âWhile there is a clear marking of the Road Alignment in the Revised Master Plan (RMP) 2015, Sandeep Anirudhan is obstructing the governmentâs work by false propaganda through media stating that the road is being formed on the lake buffer area. The RMP-2015 does not indicate any existence of the lake.â
"Sandeep Anirudhan is falsely claiming the withdrawn Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP-2031). He is instigating the public at large to oppose the government-financed public work, alleging the BBMP, especially the Road Infrastructure divisionâs role," the complaint added.
In response, Sandeep Anirudhan contended that the errors in RMP 2015 were corrected in RMP 2031. âIn the RMP 2015, errors were made by the Bangalore Development Authority. It left out the lake and introduced a road project and zoned the area as industrial. In the RMP 2031, that error was corrected. We have petitioned the BDA to amend RMP 2015 and make corrections to list the lake and remove the violating project and correct the zoning,â he added.
TNM has earlier reported in 2018 that the buffer zone around the lake area had been constantly encroached upon by various civic authorities, including the BBMP and Namma Metro. The BBMP was accused of building an 80-feet road connecting ITPL and Varthur Kodi through the lake area, while the Namma Metro has been accused of dumping debris into the lake from a nearby metro construction site. Residents have been protesting against this encroachment since then.
Read: Fight to save Pattandur Agrahara Lake: Activists produce British map clearly indicating area