“Our plan was to install a two MLD plant near Agara Lake in two acres. Now wehave 56 acre land from KIADB so we have changed it to 90 MLD plant,” said Rudramurthy, Additional Chief engineer, Waste Water Management, BWSSB (now transferred).
BWSSB invited tender without evicting the encroachers
The second hurdle was in the form of encroachment. When BWSSB survey team visited Amanikane, where the STP to be constructed, found that the land was encroached by private parties. Even before evicting the encroachers, BWSSB invited tenders for this Rs 250 crore project. However Manjunath K R, Executive Engineer, BWSSB, claimed, “we have evicted the people in July. Now there are no issues for starting the project.”
But the land is still encroached. There are around 1000 houses constructed in the 56 acre land. Most people living there are street vendors. “We have been living here for the past four years by paying rent to Lokesh Reddy. If BWSSB evicts us, we will go to some other place,” says Krishnappa a resident.
Lokesh Reddy is said to be a businessman who has encroached the land, constructed houses and leased them, says the residents. But none of them knew more about Lokesh Reddy and his whereabouts.
BWSSB violates High Court Order
In 2000, the High Court had instructed BWSSB to not let sewage water to Bellandur Lake and monitor STPs on the basis of a PIL filed by Jagannath Reddy, former Panchayat President, Bellandur. But BWSSB continued letting sewage water into Bellandur Lake.
“I filed a contempt petition in the year 2001 against BWSSB and the court transferred the case to Lok Adalat in 2002. Lok Adalat asked BWSSB to file a report on Bellandur Lake every month,” said Reddy.
‘They are giving the report of all pipe laying works and other BWSSB works in the name of Bellandur Lake works,” he added.
But on the other hand, V C Kumar, Executive Engineer, BWSSB, acknowledged that waste water is being dumped into Bellandur Lake. He also feels, it is BDA who is supposed to give the report on the action plan to save Bellandur Lake as they had taken up the lake for conservation in 2011.⊕
S Suresh Kumar, Minister for Urban Development, met BWSSB Chairman Gaurav Gupta on 3rd September 2012 to seek clarification on inefficient STPs at Bellandur lake. The Minister was there after reading an article on Citizen Matters published on 29th August 2012.
Speaking to Citizen Matters after the meeting, Gupta assured there will be action. “I will speak with the concerned engineers and will take necessary action shortly,” he said.