Across Bengaluru, lakes are being dug up, drained and desilted for development. BBMP is in the process of developing 67 lakes at the cost of Rs 200 crore. But the civic agency and the government have kept citizens out of the process.
Citizen groups, residents and environmentalists across the city have expressed concern. They fear their neighbourhood lakes are being encroached upon or turned into soup bowl- shaped lakes that are not as biodiverse. There are fears that limited public funds are being wasted on unnecessary works.
Lack of public consultation
Lakes in Bengaluru are essentially commons, meant to be shared and used by the community. But the public is never fully consulted and they also do not have complete access to plans and financial information before lake development happens.
Citizen Matters, Bengaluru, has organised a panel discussion, Missing: Public participation in lake development in Bengaluru, we will discuss how lake development became such an opaque process and how this impacts the lakes and the well-being of citizens. We will also talk about the best practices for lake development, and how citizens are trying to stay informed and vigilant about their neighbourhood lakes.
The panelists for the webinar include: Bijoy Venugopal, bird watcher and founder-editor of The Green Ogre. He is part of a group of active birdwatchers pushing for Saul Kere development to be biodiversity friendly.
Nirmala Gowda, co-founder of Paani.earth, a citizen lead research initiative that is building up a detailed database on the river-basins and wetlands of our country.
Ram Prasad, co-founder of Friends of Lakes and leading advocate for transparent and scientific lake management
Soumya ND, Member, Yelahanka Puttenahalli Lake Bird Conservation Trust, a citizen group monitoring the above mentioned lake.
The webinar will be moderated by Bhanu Sridharan, senior reporter, Citizen Matters, Bengaluru.
Date: May 26th, Friday
Time: 6 pm onwards
Register to join us on the webinar
The event will be livestreamed on YouTube