As you all know, the local community has been working very hard on rejuvenating Kaikondrahalli lake – it has come a long way from the days it was a garbage dump to an acclaimed water body that has been appreciated by one and all. Our community has been very active on this front. The last two days have been traumatic for us.
Just when our complaints about SJR Watermark constructions’ letting in sewage and worker sheds encroaching were having some effects, this new problem has risen.
This weekend, BBMP decided to replace the old broken fence on the main bund facing Sarjapur road. Parts of the bund fencing were removed and new poles erected. Some land owners along with local goons (of all political hues) came in and uprooted the new poles, they threatened to continue doing so if poles were laid in the same place as the old fence.
They insisted the whole main bund perimeter be moved in by a few metres (this is so future road widening will not affect their real estate interests across the road).
No road widening can touch any lake bund in the light of the HC and SC verdicts. Officers on the ground have requested we try to drive a compromise of moving it by one foot (which is against the law).
The community has refused to accept any violation and stood our ground despite some of us being warned, in front of the BBMP officials, that our efforts will be in vain if we do not compromise. Our refusal to budge incensed them and they then demanded 10 feet of the bund to be moved on the east side to facilitate a road for the local cemetery (which already has another connecting road).
Now that they have stopped the work, we believe they are hoping the fencing will not happen for long enough that the community will either become lackadaisical or forget where the fence was or that the officials will not have too much public pressure when they restart the work so they can nudge them to move the fence further into the lake.
There is also another disadvantage to not having the fence in place immediately. With no fence for about 50 to 60 meters, the security guards can’t successfully stop people from entering the lake bund. Miscreants can and are entering the lake at all times of the day and night — and some could cause problems for visitors (being lewd or harassing people for instance). The contractor is worried that if a drunk falls into the water, the police will file a case against him and the work will have to stop.
Yesterday five men in an Innova drove in to the lake bund and sat there drinking. When asked to leave they said they named a local politician and said that they were his people. We gently urged them to leave and after much back and forth they finally chose to leave because none of us reacted to their provocation. It is critical the fencing work is completed soon and completed correctly (i.e. marking the original borders)
Please help bring this problem to the attention of everyone in our community by forwarding it to all the people living in your apartments/layout and others. Please call and email political in support of our stand and the urgent need to fence the lake immediately.
BBMP Commissioner, Special Commissioner, Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chief Engineers, Standing committee chairmen have been briefed on this issue. There is no response yet from the local MLA and the corporator is not reachable. The members are trying meet Ministers Suresh Kumar and R Ashok.