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Current Affairs

Court steps in to protect Bengaluru lakes

Date: 01 October 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Karnataka High Court has directed the state government to take measures for the protection of Bengaluru’s lakes.

 

Background

Bengaluru’s natural landscape allowed formation of lakes. In recent times, these lakes have been encroached or redeveloped.

 

Details

  • Over the last couple of decades, hundreds of lakes have disappeared. The main city had about 272 lakes, which has now come down to 168.

  • The government report says that out of the 1500 lakes in Bengaluru district, more than 1,100 lakes have had encroachments.

 

The destruction

  • Lakes have become prime locations for real estate development. Even government has taken over lake areas to develop bus stands, stadiums etc.

  • Research says that areas in vicinity of lakes have ground water depth of about 200-300 ft whereas it goes up to 1500 ft in other areas.

 

The court order

  • The High court order in 2019 had asked the state government to take in National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) for carrying out an in depth study of lake.

  • The study can be used to assess the threats posed by lakes, their surrounding ecology and also measures to rejuvenate them.

 

Effects of encroachment

  • Due to encroachment, wetlands surrounding lakes have been destroyed. Rejuvenation of ground water is not taking place.

  • Concretization has increases urban heat islands. In collaboration with vehicular emissions, the phenomenon has caused increase in temperature.

  • Non-regularized housing and industries have been discharging untreated sewage into lake bodies, causing their destruction.