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The destruction of another lake: Why the situation at Bhoganahalli reeks of apathy

By Anuj Cariappa

Bengaluru, Sep 06: In the past year, the condition of the Bhoganahalli lake has gone from bad to worse.

The eponymous Bhoganahalli lake, which five acres was donated by Philanthropist Narasimha Shastri for providing drinking water for cattle and sheep. Since 2010, the lake showed signs of vanishing and by 2012, there was just a compound wall, which was a sign that there used to be a lake.

The destruction of another lake: Why the situation at Bhoganahalli reeks of apathy

One Twitter user, A G Lakshmanan wrote on his timeline, "look how the Bhoganahalli lake opposite our building has been destroyed in 1 year. Lake water pumped out for desilting and work stopped mid-way. Now people are using chainsaws to cut the trees around!"

This is yet another sad story like those of many others in Bengaluru. The residents of Bhoganahalli narrate with sadness the plight of this lake. The people recall memories of how they used to take their cattle to the lake, but now all that has gone.

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Environmentalists who are working tirelessly for the cause of the lakes say that the story at Bhoganahalli is similar to the rest. They blame the nexus between the land mafia and the authorities for this mess.

Back in 2012, the authorities had prepared an action plan to develop the lake. A sum of Rs 1.92 crore was earmarked for the same. The villagers back then said that the authorities never took the project seriously and watched on as the land mafia encroached upon the same.

Like many other lakes, the Bhoganahalli lake too has been a victim of sewage inflow. Birders and environmentalists have said that due to this and cutting of trees, the birds have vanished along with the lake.

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Taking serious account of the apathy, it may be recalled that the Karnataka High Court had directed the state government and BBMP to come up with a comprehensive scheme to restore 19 lakes in the city. The court expressed surprise as to how the authorities had allowed public authorities to use lakes to put up constructions. If it was not possible to restore these lakes, then the state government should discharge its constitutional obligation of maintaining and restoring lakes by creating artificial lakes to compensate for the damage caused, the court further noted.

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