Karnatakaâ€™s Revenue Minister R Ashok said that 42 lakes have disappeared in Bengaluru so far, and that most of these lakes were filled up without cabinet approval. Speaking in the state Assembly on Monday, September 19, he also went on to allege that most of the encroachments on lakes happened during the tenure of the previous Congress government in the state.
While replying to a 12-hour debate in the Assembly regarding the recent disruption caused by the rains and floods in several parts of the state, Ashoka said that since 1963, several buildings and layouts were built on levelled lakes, leading them to disappear. The Revenue Minister also went on to state the areas where layouts were constructed on top of lakes, which used to store 2 to 4 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) of water, according to him. These areas included Rajajinagar (1963), Koramangala (1965), Dollars Colony (1973), Domlur (1977), HAL-I and HAL-II (1978), HSR I and II (1986) and others.
â€śIt's been a year since the CM (Basavaraj Bommai) has come to power. If you look at all the comments that have emerged from opposition leaders, they all say that Bengaluru was destroyed after Bommai came to power,â€ť Ashoka said, and went on to blame the Congress governments that have ruled the state in the past. However, Opposition ministers such as Krishna Byre Gowda, KJ George and Ramalinga Reddy alleged that the ruling government is trying to hide their failures by recalling history.
Meanwhile, Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai has announced that he would order a comprehensive probe into the issue of lakes being filled up and encroached in Bengaluru.
â€śThe mistakes committed before in the name of development should not be repeated. For this, it is necessary to probe when and why this land was utilised; which political forces ensured encroachment of lakes; which officers executed the task; who accumulated wealth in the name of others; after 2007 who amassed wealth,â€ť the Chief Minister said.