Friday, February 20, 2015

Memorandum to CM - Somasundrapalya Lake & KCDC

Shri. Siddaramaiah Ji
Honorable Chief Minister, Govt of Karnataka

 Sub: Appeal to Rejuvenate Somasundrapalya Lake and to end menace of KCDC plant 

Respected Siddaramaiah Ji,

Greetings! At the outset for the letter, we congratulate you for the recent initiatives by your government under your able leadership in conservation of water bodies across the state by passing the Karnataka Tank Development Authority Bill, 2014 in the recent assembly session.

We are confident that the provisions in new bill would help in rejuvenation and conservation of water bodies in the state. We also hope this legislation will help in revival and conservation of the water bodies in and around Bengaluru that are very crucial for recharging of the depleting ground water tables given the kind of urban sprawl that the city is been witnessing.

Bengaluru city was known for the lakes but today many of them vanished and the one’s remaining are in peril. The reasons range from encroachments of the tank shore area, raja kaluvas, inflow of effluents from industries in up streams, domestic waste water flows into storm water drains resulting in pollution of water bodies. The multiplicity of the institutional ownership of various departments is another issue that has been hunting the lake conservation.    

At this juncture, we take this opportunity to bring to notice the Somasundrapalya Lake (also known as Haralakunte Lake) one such neglected lake located survey number 0051 BBMP Ward 190, of Bommanahalli Assembly Constituency; the lake is currently under BDA jurisdiction (East division).

Key issues of Somasundrapalya Lake:

-   The lake originally spread over close to 16 Acres 29 Guntas, in last few years about 3 acres has been encroached. (enclosed copy of RTI reply)

-   The broken fencing and complete neglect by BDA has resulted in debris dumping, excess growth of weeds, entry of raw sewage and affluent into lake. There by making it completely unusable for residents either for a walk or recreation.

-   Karnataka Compost Development Corporation (KCDC) located in the vicinity of the lake, has been encroaching the lake bed for its vehicle movements and to stack up waste and leachate is flowing into the lake.

-   KCDC plant in this area is close to a heavily populated locality; the residents have been constantly complaining about the raising stink, vector menace leading to respiratory diseases and skin allergies. During the monsoon the stink from KCDC garbage processing operation are unbearable, and residents have take up the issue with the local authorities but the problem continues to remain.

-  This lake falls under the upper catchment of the Varthur Lake series, and is interconnected to 9 lakes in this series gets a good quantity of rain water, and it can retain and recharge the ground water tables. But neglect and blockages of the inlets has resulted in lesser and lesser water reaching the lake.

We would also like to draw Hon. Chief Minister’s attention to 7th Sept 2013 visit to Agara Lake, where you had instructed the BDA Commissioner to re-survey Somasundrapalya Lake, and had directed BBMP Commissioner to take necessary steps to remove encroachments. So far neither BDA nor BBMP has taken initiated any concrete action nor have indicated any plan of action in this regard.

The residents of the locality have on several occasions expressing their concern and helplessness to get the relevant authorities to address w.r.t lake conservation and remedial measures to control the odor nuisance from the KCDC operations in this area.    

On behalf of the residents of the locality we are submitting the memorandum in full faith that Hon. Chief Minister will take cognizance of the concerns we have raised and will initiate necessary action without any further delay.

The inhabitants of the Somasundarpalya and surrounding area would be highly indebted the Hon. Chief Minister. We once again make humble request you to kindly do the needful and oblige.

Looking forward to hearing from you at the earliest.

Thanking you,

Warm Regards,
Kavitha Reddy
Mountaineer & Lake Activist
Member of One Bengaluru for Lakes
Founder Member, Jt Secretary of Agara Lake Protection & Management Society

Enclosed: 1. Response to RTI query regarding the lake area
               2. Copy of the local newspaper that covered your 7th Sept 2013 visit
               3. Three Photos of the current state of Somasundrapalya Lake

CC: Shri. Ramalinga Reddy, Hon. Transport Minister & Bengaluru City in-charge Minister, GOK
      Shri. Kupendra Reddy, Hon. Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha

Click here for reply from CM Office