Environmentalists, Environment Support Group, activists and citizens of Bengaluru urged the Karnataka Tank Conservation and Development Authority (KTCDA) to stop the inclusion of private stakeholders for rejuvenation of lakes like Doddakallasandra Lake, Sarjapura Lake, and Doddanagamangala Lake among others in and around the city.
It has been asked the authority to cancel the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by various corporate organisations for the work.
In the first meeting organised by KTCDA for residents and stakeholders, the attendees brought up complaints and discussed suggestions on ways to improve Bengaluru’s lakes.
As per Leo Saldanha from the Environment Support Group, although there is an urgent need for a systematic, scientific approach for rejuvenating lakes across the State, but, private sector participation is majorly based on commercial gains and not in the interest of the lakes or their ecosystems.
Leo, while talking about the interest of corporates, quoted NK Patil’s report on lakes. “This colonisation of lakes by corporates should immediately be stopped,” he added.
The state government signed the MoU in December 2019 and also advertised that the lake rejuvenation project is open for CSR funding.
AN Yellappa Reddy, Environmentalist criticised the meeting as most senior government officials from the concerned departments did not attend it.
Reddy said, “The Chief Minister is the chairman of KTCDA. I urge him to chair such sessions with secretaries of the government agencies that are even remotely related to lakes. Only then will something concrete can be expected from such sessions.”
Reddy highlighted that lakes in the city are all disconnected and stormwater drains are encroached.