The unprecedented heavy rains of the past few weeks has exposed the vulnerabilty of our erstwhile “City of Lakes” yet again… the vulnerability to flooding, primarily due to haphazard growth and inappropriate land use changes. The filling up of several lakes and the exploitation of the ones left back, coupled with similar mistreatment of the land in the immediate vicinity of their catchment areas has had undesired effects on Bangalore.
Mahadevpura Parisara Samrakshane Mattu Abhivrushi Samiti (MAPSAS) has been working very hard over the past few years to keep Kasavanahalli and Kaikondarahalli lakes, among others, alive and thriving. The trust, comprising of a group of active and concerned citizens, along with Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) with the southern bench of the National Green Tribunal in Chennai last month. Their contention was that lakes in Bangalore are dwindling because of abuse of lake beds, earmarked sensitive areas and valley zones and that allowing construction on these zones has massive impact on the ecology of lakes and the areas around.
Information shared by MAPSAS Trustee, Priya Ramasubban, indicates that the PIL is concerned with construction on a large swath of land between Kasavanahalli and Kaikondarahalli lakes, which comes under the ‘sensitive zone’ category in the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) for Bangalore.
A sensitive zone is marked such because it has natural sloping patterns, nallas, kaluves and valley zones, all of which are necessary for water to flow correctly between lakes and to absorb and retain water correctly. By allowing construction in the sensitive zone between Kasavanahalli and Kaikondrahalli lakes, there is a real threat to the health of both the lakes as well as a real threat of flooding in the neighbouring areas.
The matter came up for hearing before Justice M. Chockalingam and Mr. P.S.Rao at the Southern Zonal Bench, National Green Tribunal, Chennai on October 26, 2015. Senior Advocate, Mr. M. S. Krishnan appeared on behalf of the litigants. After hearing Mr. Krishnan for some time, the Tribunal granted an ex-parte interim injunction and issued notice of the Application to the Respondents. The case was adjourned to November 27, 2015, to await service of notice of the Application on the Respondents.
This PIL and the interim stay affects the land/properties that are/ are coming up in the area, including the construction of the property called Shriram Chirping Woods. It is appropriate that those who have bought/ thinking of buying in this area stay informed.
Citizen Matters will keep track of this case and provide updates on progress.