Nearly three years after the Union water resources ministry asked the Karnataka government to bring Bengaluru’s lakes and tanks under the purview of MoEF, there has been no headway whatsoever.
The directive still remains on paper without the state government taking steps to implement it, reports Sandeep Moudgal for The Timesof India.
MP Prabhakar B Kore raised the matter in the Rajya Sabha in the backdrop of Bengaluru being inundated in the month of July. It was after the inundation that widespread demolition drives were carried out to clear the city of encroachments on storm water drains.
Replying to the MP’s query, Union Minister for Water Resources Uma Bharti pointed out that a detailed advisory on ‘Conservation and restoration of water bodies in urban areas’ was issued in August 2013, states the report.
The advisory urged the state government to classify its water bodies in urban areas under the separate land-use category.
“This should be done in parallel with the other protected areas that are defined under the Environment Protection, and the Forest Protection Acts, to safeguard them from encroachment and destruction,” states the report published by TOI.
The report also mentions that all state government were directed on November 7, to take measures for inclusion of water bodies in land records and that they be made part of the town planning process.
However, additional chief secretary, urban development department, Mahendra Jain told TOI that Bengaluru’s water bodies cannot be classified as eco-sensitive and protected areas, “since they are too small.”