Bengaluru: Ruined by incessant garbage dumping by the BBMP, the Srigandhakaval Lake in Jnanabharti Nagar in Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency is facing a new threat.
According to residents, RR Nagar MLA Muniratna Naidu wants to convert the lake into a playground, which means that the city would lose another lake.
Spread over 12 acres, the lake was being used to dump garbage by none other than the BBMP for more than two years. The dumping came to a halt after the Lake Development Authority (LDA) warned the BBMP. But that didn't resolve the problem.
According to Sobha Bhat, resident of Jnanabharti Nagar, instead of transporting the trash, the BBMP buried the garbage and "covered it with soil". "Now, due to excess heat, smoke emanates making us feel as if the trash has been set on fire," said Sobha.
The BBMP's callousness was followed by MLA Muniratna Naidu's alleged announcement about turning the lake bed into a playground. "He announced this during a Janaspandana meeting. How is it possible? If we kill this lake, it will be a great loss to the ecology of Bengaluru," she said.
Dr Lakshmikanth, another resident, said in spite of writing several letters, the BBMP and the BDA merely passed the buck. He said in the beginning the BDA was the custodian of the lake but 60 lakes were later handed over to the BBMP. "Srigandhakaval was one of them. When we asked the BBMP, they said that the BDA had to allocate funds for the restoration of the lake," said Dr Lakshmikanth, adding that he was not in favour of setting up a playground.
The fencing around the lake is also in a bad condition.
Speaking to Bfirst.in, Shivalinge Gowda, President, Chennappa Layout Association, said they were not in favour of constructing a playground. "If it rains, this lake will be filled with water. It can host many birds and small creatures. We want to save this lake," he said.
When contacted, Muniratna Naidu denied making any announcement about a playground and alleged that false news was being spread to "harm his reputation". "The place is empty and filth gets collected. The people complained to me about bad smell. Hence, I decided to cover it and build a tree park," he said.
Kemparaju, BBMP engineer, said there was "no plan" to convert the lake bed into a playground. He also assured of fixing the broken fence.