Nearly 4,500 acres of the lake area in Bengaluru's Urban areas have encroached, the recent preliminary survey of 837 lakes conducted by the district administration has revealed.
The authorities have estimated the number to increase once they include the lake buffer zones, and the ground survey report is awaited, Deccan Herald reported. Of the total lakes in the district, only 91 have remained untouched.
According to the report, these lakes have an area of about 22,810 acres and 32 guntas, and about 20 percent of them are occupied.
Of them, 223 lakes are encroached in Anekal Taluk, 188 in Bengaluru South, 122 in the northern area, 116 in Bengaluru North (Additional), and 95 in Bengaluru East.
BBMP To Chalk Out Plan Of Action
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bengaluru Development Authority, and Zilla Panchayat are responsible for managing the lake areas. However, more than 125 lakes did not have caretakers.
The survey was conducted on June 15, under the orders of Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner J Manjunath, to analyse the area trespassed and measures that can be taken to restore the water bodies.
Speaking to the media, Manjunath explained the land was encroached for cultivation by farmers, homeless people residing in the lake beds, and people who have built concrete houses in the area. The Commissioner said the first two are temporarily arranged but the third affects the most.
"All encroachments have to be evicted by keeping human rights in mind. The ground truth analysis is important to save the lands belonging to the water bodies," he added.
He stated that a meeting would be conducted to make decisions on the holistic development of the lakes. He hinted at roping in the corporates to ensure restoration activities beyond fencing and other protection measures.