Illegal hutments on Puttenahalli Lake pollute the environment

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View of the lake land where the illegal hutments have encroached on.
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Path leading to the hutments alongside the lake
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The mess in the encroached land
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The residents continue to live around the lake area.
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The residents' household.

 

Bangalore, October 6, 2017: The illegal hutments around Puttenahalli Lake are affecting the environment of the lake.

Nupur Jain, a member of Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust, said, “The huts are illegal and residents carry out acts of vandalism. They throw garbage into the lake which brings rats and dogs in the lake premises. They even used to fish in the lake illegally where only the government-appointed fisherman is permitted to fish but that has stopped now due to efforts by the trust.”

She said, the lake workers refuse to clean the part of the lake where hutments are there because the residents keep their area filthy. She added that the trust body is not able to implement development plans such as build solar panels and pumps around the lake because of the disruption caused by residents.

Nilufar Nigarnadaf, Home Guard at the lake, said, “Their (residents’) kids enter the lake which is not allowed. The lake is not open for public bathing. They drink and throw alcohol bottles along with garbage which brings dogs.”

The lake is under Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) located in BBMP Ward 187 ‘Puttenahalli’. In May 2011, the BBMP had handed over the lake to the trust body but it continues to work with the body for further development of the lake.

K V Ravi, Executive Engineer, BBMP Lakes Department, said, “We want the residents to vacate. We have provided alternate housing but they refused to shift.”

Ganesh Nayak, who has been living in the area for 20 years, said, the land around the lake is private and does not belong to the trust. He added, they have verified documents and they are fighting a legal case for their rights. He mentioned that the civil court has granted a stay on the land.

Dhanush Nayak, another resident, said, “The houses they have provided at Electronic City are too small for my family, only 10 by 10 feet, and one bathroom is for 10 families (sic) So I will not shift.” Presently, the residents are using their makeshift bathrooms.
He mentioned the school his children attend is nearer from the hutment than the Electronic City which is another reason for his refusal to shift.

 He added that the allegations made by the trust are false and that the residents keep the garbage within their area and it does not reach the lake.

Kshitij, an environmentalist based in Bangalore, explained, “We should exercise caution and be driven by social justice. It is easy for the rich to get rid of encroachments but it is people in slums and other deprived communities which are at the wrong end of the stick.”
He added that without proper rehabilitation, the residents should not be forced to vacate.

 
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