The Karnataka High Court issued notices to the BBMP, BDA, KLCDA and the state government asking the civic authorities to clear encroachments on the Pattandur Agrahara Lake (Survey 54) in Whitefield in Bengaluru.
The decision came as a boost to citizen activists involved in efforts to safeguard the lake and in finding ways to revive and redevelop the water body.
“We are happy that the issue has finally been taken up by the High Court. The dumping has been happening unchecked since September 2017,” said Sandeep Anirudhan, member of the Save Pattandur Agrahara Lake group, which has been at the forefront of reporting unchecked dumping in the lakebed area.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice BM Shyam Prasad issued the notices to the governmental bodies while hearing a PIL filed by the Whitefield Rising Trust.
The petitioner had challenged the BBMP’s plan to construct an 80 feet road connecting Varthur Kodi Road to ITPL Main Road and pointed out that the road runs through the buffer zone of Pattandur Agrahara Lake (Survey 54).
According to activists, the illegal dumping in the lake’s buffer zone began in September 2017. Ad hoc dumping of debris and illegal felling of trees were reported in the lake’s buffer area, leading to angry residents forming a human chain to protest and demand that the road works be stopped.
Fresh cases of illegal dumping were reported in February 2018, forcing residents to stop truck drivers from entering the area.
The Pattandur Agrahara Lake (Survey 54) area is 800 metres east of the current Pattandur Agrahara Lake.
“This area used to be the Pattandur Agrahara village until residents shifted to near ITPL about 40 years ago. This is still referred to as the Pattandur Agrahara,” explained Sandeep.
The area is home to several birds and also houses the Muneshwara temple, believed to be hundreds of years old.