Brainstorming – for Lakes – 26th November 2015

Update from People’s Campaign for Right to Water-Karnataka <cawpka@gmail.com> 24th Nov 2015

The National Law School of India University & The People’s campaign for Right to Water invites you to a brain storming on  

EVOLVING ROBUST LEGAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE SAFEGUARDS FOR SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF WATER BODIES 

10 AM to 1 PM 26 November 2015
at the National Law School of India University, Nagarbhavi Bangalore

The discussants include
Shri. Ranjan Chatterjee IAS, Expert Member of National Green Tribunal
Prof. Ramesh, NLSIU
Prof. Sairam Bhat, NLSIU
Shri. Ramacharya Puranik, Deputy Director, LDA
Shri. Rajendran Prabhakar, PCRW – Karnataka

The brain storming is being held to collectively and urgently address the issue of the deterioration and disappearance of lakes in Karnataka.

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Update from People’s Campaign for Right to Water-Karnataka <cawpka@gmail.com> 20th Nov 2015

Dear Friends,

It is with deep regret that we are yet again having to postpone the public consultation on lakes due to the refusal of key guests to be part of it. The CEO of LDA flatly refused to participate in what he termed a “public hearing” on lakes. The minister for water resources and the additional chief secretary who had earlier evinced interest and were ready to participate despite the ongoing assembly session have now backed out. Without elected representatives and bureaucrats at the highest levels, the objective of the consultation of eliciting policy level commitments from the government cannot be achieved. Hence we have decided to postpone the meeting and intensify our collective efforts to ensure that these officials and elected members can be made to address the issue of water in public. We at sorry for the inconvenience caused. Please wait for further updates.

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Message received from PCRW

DISAPPEARING LAKES OF KARNATAKA: FIXING ACCOUNTABILITIES, MAKING AMENDS AND IMPROVING GOVERNANCE

On the 26th of November 2015, the National Law School of India University and the People’s Campaign for the Right to Water (PCRW) will be holding a public consultation involving concerned government officials and subject matter experts to look into the issue of the rapid deterioration and disappearance of the lakes in Karnataka and to plan for a clear roadmap to resolve the issue by adequately fixing accountability on related government departments and through the facilitation of active participation of the public in the upkeep and governance of lakes and water networks.

Date: 26th November 2015
Time: 10 A.M. to 1 P.M. 
Place: 
National Law School of India University, Nagarbhavi Bangalore

The discussants include 
Shri P.B. RamamurthyIAS, Additional Chief Secretary to Govt. of Karnataka
Shri Ranjan Chatterjee IAS, Expert Member of National Green Tribunal
Professor Ramesh, NLSIU
Shri C Shivanna IFS, CEO LDA
Professor Sairam Bhat, NLSIU
Shri Rajendran Prabhakar, PCRW – Karnataka

There are many systemic fault lines in the governance of water bodies in the state which have been opportunistically used by those who want to run them down, encroach, pollute and destroy. While individual lakes have been arbitrarily divided between many local and state level departments, there seems to be no coordinated effort between these departments towards a common vision or purpose of maintaining and developing them, or to prevent their destruction. Even the few lakes that have been taken up for development have been unscientifically made into soup-bowl structures for aesthetic reasons without an acknowledgment of their ecological significance.

With no avenue for engagement on the issue, the dismayed public are left to fend for themselves and to watch precious lakes disappear in front of their own eyes. Over all, the glaring limitation in governance of water bodies in Karnataka has led to hundreds of lakes and their catchment basins being systematically destroyed. This is an ongoing experience on the ground on a daily basis with perpetrators going scot free and concerned public facing inaction from related government departments.

There have been many instances of organised groups of people making a difference locally but these have largely been through their own efforts or with a supportive court judgment in their hands. There is a need for this commitment of the public to be channelized purposefully to democratise the governance of water and to raise water consciousness among the larger masses in Karnataka.

This also means fixing the accountability on the government – gaining the commitment of elected representatives at all levels, making bureaucrats accountable, backing up departments with appropriate laws and to empower the public to fearlessly engage and contribute to the democratisation of water in Karnataka.

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The People’s Campaign for the Right to Water-Karnataka is a movement of individuals and organisations fighting for access to free and clean water. The movement campaigns against the privatisation, commoditisation, degradation and encroachment of water throughout the state, which is in keeping with the millennium development goals of ensuring environmental sustainability and clean drinking water. It seeks to work collectively to establish a more transparent, accountable and democratic form of water governance in Karnataka through initiatives like this public consultation.

About Arathi Manay Yajaman 215 Articles

Arathi is a trustee of Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust (PNLIT) and an active citizen.