Campaign against Privatisation of Bangalore's / Bengaluru's Lakes sign now

Unplanned and unregulated development of residential and office buildings in the southern Indian city of Bangalore has created a problem - many of the city's lakes have disappeared (VIEW PHOTOS / PICTURES OF LAKES) : BBC News, Bangalore Mon, 27 March 2006

Karnataka High Court HC admits petition on privatisation of lakes :The Hindu Tue, Nov 13, 2007

Campaign against lake privatisation The Hindu Wed, Jun 18, 2008

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http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/blorelakes/index.html

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The cost of Bangalore's boom is apparent in its vanishing lakes: Taipei Times - archives AFP, BANGALORE, INDIA Thursday, Aug 03, 2006, Page 9
In 10 years, 160 of the 200 lakes in India's high-tech hub have disappeared, and private builders, construction waste and recreation threaten those remaining

Impact of Privatisation of lakes in Bangalore

Citizens oppose lake privatisation :The Times of India Mon, 23 Jun 2008

Burgeoning Bangalore City saps its lakes dry
Of the 265 water bodies in Bangalore and its surroundings, many have disappeared and just 90 remain today :Deccan Herald Mon, Apr 14, 2008

The case of the vanishing lakes
Where have all the Bangalore lakes gone? This is the question most Bangaloreans are asking. And the existing ones are in danger of vanishing, thanks to large scale urbanisation which has rendered some :Deccan Herald Aug 20, 2007

Land grabbing and encroachments have already destroyed several of the Bangalore city's lakes.

The undersigned wish to express their deepest concern over the ongoing efforts of the Government of Karnataka through the agency of the Lake Development Authority (LDA) to privatise lakes in Bangalore, and hand them over to private profit making bodies.

The LDA has handed over or leased out four lakes or prime water bodies - Agara Lake, Hebbal Lake, Vengaiah Kere or Vengaiahnakere and Nagawara / Nagavara Lakes for development to private agencies / parties for 15 years on a develop-operate-transfer basis.

Six others will be "adopted" by private developers for five years.

As per the lease agreements signed between the LDA and the private entities, these lakes have been handed over on lease of 15 years, subsequently extendable, ostensibly for development and maintenance of the lakes.

We are deeply distressed by this development activity, which involves the introduction of restaurants, kiosks, boating, water sports and jetty / jetties as we find this unethical and counter to the objective of environment conservation and maintenance of lakes.

We express our concern at the Developmental activities to be initiated by Biota Natural Systems (India) Pvt. Ltd. on the Lake Agara in Koramangala.

Lakes, being people's commons, should be the responsibility of the State, which has to ensure they are kept accessible.

Incidentally, these lakes or water bodies were comprehensively de-silted, restored and rehabilitated at substantial costs recently, by/with grants from the Norwegian Government under the Indo-Norwegian Environment Project / Programme and the National Lake Conservation Programme of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The Karnataka State Forest Department had initiated action as per the Wildlife Protection Act against the developer, East India Hotels (Oberois), for destroying nesting grounds of birds in Hebbal tank. But for reasons best known to them, this case has not been pursued."

We request to put an end to privatisation of lakes, as it is a dangerous trend that will leave critical spaces out of reach to the public.

It's already been seen in the case of the Nagawara Lake by Lumbini Gardens Pvt Ltd, and by M/s ParC Ltd. Systems in the case of Vengaiah Kere.

Lakes support a wide diversity of flora and fauna, and support the livelihoods of many fishing families.

The lakes are/were excellent habitats for a variety of flora and fauna, especially migratory waterfowl, and privatisation would sound the death-knell for such habitats. These lakes are fantastic water bodies and excellent habitats for birds - both migrating and local.

Such actions will directly affect the livelihoods of hundreds of fishermen families who will be directly threatened by displacement.

Hebbal Lake has been used for customary and traditional occupations like fishing, grazing and irrigation.

In addition, birdwatchers have been visiting these wetland habitats regularly documenting the excellent diversity of migratory waterfowl.

All these lakes, and Hebbal in particular, have been the subject of numerous scholars and researchers studying wetlands, birds, aquatic life and so on.

Hebbal Lake has infact been repeatedly proposed for conservation as a bird refuge, and its watershed as a Regional Park (per the Lakshman Rau Committee Report - 1988).

We sincerely believe that it is an unnecessary and damaging investment to now lease out these very lakes for advancing commercial interests.

Besides being illegal this will take away our natural heritage and will only benefit a few commercial entities.

Keeping all this in view, we request the abandoning of the programme of lake privatisation or the handing over of lakes to private companies to develop them into recreation hubs.

We strongly feel that lakes must be maintained as our common heritage, their maintenance undertaken with the cooperation of local communities and no activity inconsistent with the traditional and specific use of the water bodies should be allowed now or in the future.

'Declare lakes as nature preserves'
AS it stands: A view/PHOTO of the Hebbal Lake in Bangalore : The Hindu Tue, Jun 24, 2008
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests status report submitted to Karnataka High Court

Forest Department wants lakes declared as 'nature preserves' :The Hindu Tue, Jun 24, 2008
PCCF's status report submitted to Karnataka High Court

Bangalore: In an assessment of the impact of privatisation on Bangalore's lakes, the State Forest Department has described the Lake Development Authority's (LDA) programme of leasing out lakes to private developers as one that "seems to be taking all the ills of modern, built-up and paved-over, urban life into these hitherto natural spaces".

It has recommended that the lakes be declared as "nature or bird preserves".

The court had directed the Forest Department to visit and report on the lakes, following a public interest litigation petition filed in January, that challenged the legality of lake privatisation.

The status report on three privatised lakes - Hebbal, Nagavara and Agara - was submitted to the Karnataka High Court on Mon, Jun 23, 2008.

The petition contended that these lakes were "common property resource", which the State was obliged to maintain.

'Habitats destroyed'

Last week, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Dilip Kumar, visited four lakes - Agara, Hebbal, Nagavara and Vengaiahnakere - Agara, Hebbal, Nagavara and Vengaiahnakere - which have been leased out by the LDA to private companies for a period of 15 years, for their "development, beautification and maintenance".

Lake Hebbal was leased out to East India Hotels (the parent company of the Oberoi Group of Hotels) to create a recreational centre.

The PCCF's report on it observes that "dredged material (has been) piled on the lake margin to extend the land margin, thereby damaging the shoreline vegetation which is critical wildlife habitat...." Nagavara and Vengaiahnakere lakes, developed by Lumbini Gardens and ParC Ltd., respectively, have no habitat left for water birds, the report says.

Lake Agara, which has been leased out to Biota Natural Systems and is yet to be developed, supports a richer diversity of aquatic vegetation and birds, and also supports a community of fishermen and weed collectors, it observes.

Nature preserves

The report has said / recommended that the lakes that have not yet been developed "are well worth declaring as nature or bird preserves".

These bird preserves will be a tourist attraction and will serve as "a shining example of ecologically-wise integration of civic interest and biodiversity," the report adds.

As there will be no "commercial bias", it would be possible to maintain these facilities with reasonably low entrance fees so that the lakes are accessible to everyone.

'No food courts'

Referring to food courts, boating and other recreational facilities, the report recommends / said that "none of these commercial and tourism activities (should) be envisaged in the 'development' plans".

While "commercial activity should be avoided completely", the department has recommended "a modest entry fee" to make up the cost of maintenance.

"No further structures, buildings and lighting need be contemplated, apart from minimal facilities at the entrance for the gate, regulatory entry and exit, watchman's shed, plant nursery and security," says the report.

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Latest Signatures

  • 11 June 201550. Faiq G
    Non-abusive 1 Please let Bangalore be
  • 30 May 201549. Arun K
    I support this petition
  • 05 May 201548. Kala K
    I support this petition
  • 23 April 201547. Gladsonn J
    I support this petition
  • 11 December 201446. Nanda R
    Non-abusive 1 Short sighted development will have far reaching long term consequences Non-abusive 2 Once destroyed, it will take superhuman efforts to re-create these invaluable lakes Country, State, City, Locality, NGO / Association Bangalore
  • 07 December 201445. Sukant T
    Non-abusive 1 В Non-abusive 2 В Country, State, City, Locality, NGO / Association India, Karnataka, Bangalore, Koramangala
  • 06 December 201444.
    Non-abusive 1 аІаіаІаІаІіаіаІаІїаІЁ аІаіаІаіаІаІіаІЁаіаІЁ аІаІаІЄаІаІаІї. Non-abusive 2 В Country, State, City, Locality, NGO / Association В
  • 30 August 201443. Bobby R
    I support this petition
  • 21 August 201442. Arun S
    Non-abusive 1 Please help to stop this abuse on the nature; Country, State, City, Locality, NGO / Association BANGALORE
  • 26 July 201441. Rama Subramanyas
    Non-abusive 1 В Non-abusive 2 В Country, State, City, Locality, NGO / Association В
  • 17 July 201440. P Dineshk
    Non-abusive 1 Leave the lakes alone! Non-abusive 2 В Country, State, City, Locality, NGO / Association India, Karnataka, Bangalore, Indiranagar
  • 13 June 201439. Amalendu Price
    I support this petition
  • 04 May 201438. Abhishek H
    Non-abusive 1 В Non-abusive 2 В Country, State, City, Locality, NGO / Association india, karnataka, bangalore
  • 26 March 201437. Kishen D
    Non-abusive 1 Please save our lakes Country, State, City, Locality, NGO / Association Mysore
  • 21 May 201336. Joseph D
    Non-abusive 1 Live and Let Live!!!!!! Country, State, City, Locality, NGO / Association Bangalore
  • 03 May 201335. M R
    I support this petition
  • 23 April 201334. Arundhati Dhurusandeepp
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  • 09 April 201332. Amrit Pals
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  • 19 January 201331. Balaji Tp
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  • 09 November 201230. Nikhil Hodges
    Non-abusive 1 Preserve nature Country, State, City, Locality, NGO / Association Bangalore
  • 18 June 201229. Mathre R
    Non-abusive 1 Lakes arae public property, should be maintained by the governament. Non-abusive 2 It is criminal, and against public interest to give it to private persons to exploit Lakes. Country, State, City, Locality, NGO / Association India. Karnatak
  • 21 May 201228. Kiran Kamalp
    Non-abusive 1 Lakes must be prservd and maintaind by the state Country, State, City, Locality, NGO / Association JEEVIKA - Jeeta Vimukti Karnataka
  • 27 April 201227. Bhaskaran R
    Non-abusive 1 В Non-abusive 2 В Country, State, City, Locality, NGO / Association Bangalore, India
  • 29 January 201226. Gopi Sloan
    I support this petition
  • 07 April 201125. Nandini D
    I support this petition
  • 04 December 201024. Vinod Morales
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Information

Lindsey HurleyBy:
LGTBIn:
Petition target:
The Hon'ble Supreme Court of India (SC), President, Prime Minister (PM), Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Karnataka High Court (HC), Chief Minister of Karnataka (CM), Chief Secretary (CS), PCCF and LDA

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