Strategic Action Planning for Revival of Bangalore Lakes _ESG
Strategic Action Planning for Revival
of Bangalore Lakes
Workshop organised by
Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and
Finance Corporation Ltd.
04 April 2013, Bangalore
A presentation made by
Bhargavi S. Rao and Leo F. Saldanha
Environment Support Group
Bangalore's sprawl at the cost
of water security
Row 1 Row 2 Row 3 Row 4
Aren't Cities overreaching
their environmental limits
A city's ambition is quite
independent of its environmental
limits. Can this growth be
Lifting Cauvery to
•Cauvery water is supplied to
Bangalore from 100 kms. away
and lifted over 500 metres head.
•This demands enormous
investment of energy and
•Cauvery waters meet needs of
half the city's populus. Rest
depend on ground water, much of
which is polluted.
Justice N. K. Patil Committee on Preservation of Lakes in Bangalore
constituted in PIL filed by Environment Support Group
Key recommendations of Justice N. K. Patial Committtee
Immediate action to remove
encroachments from lake area
and also the Raja Kaluves (canals
interconnecting lakes) by
undertaking legal survey of area.
Lake restoration is to be taken up
based on lake series/sub-series
and not in isolation.
Stop entry of raw sewage and
dumping of garbage into lakes;
Select lakes that are relatively
undisturbed, and rehabilitate
them into drinking water
All lakes and Raja Kaluves to be
“live fenced” by growing endemic
trees and shrubs.
All traditional and cultural
practices, especially livelihoods
related to lakes, to be protected.
Key recommendations of the Justice N. K. Patil Committee
Lakes which have very high
biodiversity, especially of migratory
waterfowl, will be notified for
conservation under the Wetland
(Conservation and Management
Rules), 2010, per the Environment
Protection Act, 1986.
Promoting the involvement of local
communities in lake preservation and
restoration, the report recommends
constitution of lake management
committees involving local residents
and voluntary organisations.
Protect the interest of traditional users
of the lakes such as dhobis
(washerpeople), fisherpeople, etc. and
public access must not be restricted.
Key Features of Karnataka High Court
Directions in ESG PIL on Lakes
1. Spatial extent of 38,000 lakes and interstitial canals across Karnataka to be
protected by undertaking legal survey and the maps and information made public.
2. Sewage, industrial effluents and garbage polluting lakes to immediately stop.
3. Mandatory “No Development Zone” of min. 30 metres along lake boundaries.
4. All encroachments to be removed; humane rehabilitation of poor.
5. All lakes and canals to be live fenced with endemic trees and plants with emphasis
on provision of food and nutritional security to local communities.
6. Lakes to be rehabilitated based on ecologically sensible principles and as potential
drinking water sources.
7. Desilting only when absolutely necessary; no more creation of ‘soup bowls’ as is
the practice by BDA and BBMP.
8. District Lake Protection Committee to be constituted drawing representatives from
elected bodies, forest, environment and irrigation department, local communities
and experts, for monitoring maintenance and rehabilitation of lakes.
9. Apex Appellate State Lake Protection Committee set up involving the Karnataka
State Legal Services Authority, an adjunct body of the judiciary, with power to
attend to complaints relating to rehabilitation and protection of lakes.
10. State Government allocates Rs. 50 crores, with matching contributions from BBMP
and BDA to rehabilitate Bangalore lakes.
Karnataka High Court 7th July 2011 Direction in
ESG’s Lakes PIL seeking specific recommendations
from Justice N. K. Patil on the issue of Privatisation
and Commercialisation of Lakes
Justice N. K. Patil observations on issue of
Privatisation and Commercialisation of Lakes
Justice N. K. Patil Recommendations on issue of
Privatisation and Commercialisation of Lakes
Karnataka Government in its Affidavit before the High Court
has confirmed that it will not, any more, support privatisation
and commercialisation of lakes.
Little Compliance by concerned agencies in implementing the
Karnataka High Court directions
Many Lakes continue to be cesspools, and
dumpyards for garbage and debris
Lack of awareness of the Committee’s
recommendations among local communities and
Lake bed areas continue to be encroached in
violation of the court order
Lack of monitoring of violations by regulatory
Karnataka Government is yet to constitute District
and Apex Lake Protection Committees, a year after
the order was passed, and is in Contempt of Court.
Success Story - Subramanyapura Lake protected with Judicial
intervention and joint efforts of local community and media
Lessons learnt: Community
involvement, especially Lakes
Fisherfolk, Dhobis, farming and livestock
rearing communities, Harvesting of lotus are
some of the livelihoods that are dependent on
access to lakes. Involving these communities
go a long way in restoring and maintaining
Making lakes centres of recreation alone will
destroy them beyond repair
Next Steps: Suggestions and Recommendations
Understand, appreciate and raise
awareness about the water bodies
as a whole and not individually.
Rivers, the entire hydrologic cycle,
needs to be protected from
Promoted “constructed wetlands”,
small scale ETPs, to cleanse water
dirtied by cities.
Enforce rain water harvesting,
encourage local recycling, remove
surface impermeable urban surface
dressing, … let water flow.
Reclaim Lakes as Our Commons
Water- Human need or right?
"Water, say the World
Bank and the United
Nations, is a 'human
need,' not a 'human
right.'... A human need
can be supplied in many
ways, especially by those
with money. No one can
sell or trade a human
Maude Barlow, co-author
“Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop
Corporate Theft of the
UN declares Access to Water a basic human right –
Adds Article 31:
Everyone has the right to clean and
accessible water, adequate for the health
and well-being of the individual and
family, and no one shall be deprived of
such access or quality of water due to
individual economic circumstance.
The UN has declared that access to
clean water and sanitation is a
fundamental human right.
A non-binding resolution was passed
with 122 nations in favour, none
against and 41 abstentions.
Abstaining countries said the
resolution could undermine a
process in the UN's Human Rights
Council in Geneva to build a
consensus on water rights.