Residents in Bengaluru’s Whitefield area alleged that they found contractors engaged by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) dumping debris into the Pattandur Agrahara Lake on Thursday. Citizens’ group Namma Whitefield said that they had conducted an inspection and found that the contractor was treating the lake as a transit point for construction and demolition waste, before transporting it to a waste treatment plant.
Videos of the incident were posted on Twitter on the Namma Whitefield account. Irked residents also contacted the concerned officials.
Pattandur Agrahara Lake 54 Environment violation by BBMP Major Roads dept, nxt to Jatti Dwarakamai complex, Muneshwara Temple Rd, off ECC Rd@BBMPAdmn @BBMPCOMM Pls stop the desecration of our lake!@ArvindLBJP @CMofKarnataka @Karnataka_DIPR @dcpwhitefield @BlrCityPolice https://t.co/IGoiMGME9K— Save Pattandur Agrahara Lake (@PattandurLake) March 18, 2021
When contacted, the executive engineer in charge of the area, Ramakrishna Reddy, acknowledged that the incident took place. “The debris and trash collected from the roads were being dumped by the contractors and when it was brought to our notice, we asked them to clear the area,” he said.
“The contractor was indeed using the lake as a transit place because he cited that they cannot take eight tractors together to the dumping grounds, since it is not feasible. We condemn the act and we will ensure that the area is cleared,” he added.
Speaking to TNM, Sandeep Anirudhan, an activist from Save Pattandur Agrahara lake, said, “If the ones who are supposed to implement the laws violate them, it will not help the cause. Officials themselves, lack knowledge of the laws, which is indicative of apathy. This apathy towards the environment is prevalent in the bureaucracy across the city and state. It is about time that it changes.”
Meanwhile, an official from the Lakes Department said that the earlier fencing around the area had been damaged and since they lack funds, heightening the fence has not been possible for them. The official assured that the work will be undertaken as soon as they receive the grants. As an immediate remedy, they stated that they will block the way through which the vehicular movement takes place, to halt the dumping activity in the area.