Illegal dumping at the Pattandur Agrahara lake bed was first reported in September 2017 and has surfaced again. This time, a vigilance member of Whitefield Rising - a local resident welfare association, has managed to stop trucks working on metro construction from dumping debris at the lake bed.
Activist Sandeep Anirudhan observed that there was a flurry of activity over the past one week with debris being dumped in the lake area. “We observed that trucks were dumping debris, so we caught hold of the driver and asked him where he is coming from. The trucks also had BMRCL stickers on them and after speaking to the driver, we realised that the debris was from the metro excavations on ITPL road,” said Anirudhan.
The Save Pattandur Agrahara Lake campaign tweeted pictures of the trucks and urged the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) to take action against the errant truck drivers.
@cpronammametro #NammaMetro joins in #Killing #PattandurAgraharaLake ??!! #NammaMetro dumps #illegal #debris on lake bed!— Save Pattandur Agrahara Lake (@PattandurLake) February 21, 2018
Stop the Murder of our lakes! @uavasanthrao@CPBlr @BlrCityPolice @dcpwhitefield @BBMPCOMM1 @CMofKarnataka @BBMP_MAYOR pic.twitter.com/D4EpFSaVhB
On noticing the tweets, BMRCL asked Anirudhan the exact location of the truck. It later confirmed that the dumping was done by ‘rogue lorries’ and that action had been taken against an errant sub-contractor who dumped the debris in the lake area. “We identified that an errant sub-contractor was dumping the debris in the lake area instead of the designated location and when we found out, we immediately directed lorry owners to remove the debris. We have also fined them Rs 1 lakh and blacklisted them,” confirmed UA Vasanth Rao, Public Relations Officer with BMRCL.
While the dumping has stopped, the activist noted that the debris is yet to be removed.
The decision to stop the illegal dumping however comes as a small victory in a larger battle to preserve the lake. This is not the first time that residents have observed illegal dumping in the lake area.
Since September 2017, when illegal dumping was first observed in the lake and its periphery, activists have been protesting against the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) for ad hoc dumping of debris and illegal felling of trees in the lake area over a contentious 80-feet road project near the lake.
In November 2017, the BBMP dumped truckloads of debris into the lake and flattened the lake bed. Several concerned residents had clicked photographs of the activity and submitted it to the local BBMP ward office.