Lake conservation and the imperatives of clearing encroachments figured in the Karnataka Development Program (KDP) review meeting held here on Saturday.
The meeting was chaired by district in-charge minister ST Somashekar and Chamundeshwari MLA GT Deve Gowda raised the issue stating that encroachment of lakes should be cleared and the water bodies in the district be conserved.
He said if the lakes were not conserved then the consequences would be felt during the monsoon. Deputy Commissioner Bagadi Gautham directed the gram panchayat officials to clear the encroachment. Although the officials agreed to the suggestion, MLC Manje Gowda said the gram panchayat will not remove encroachments which are by the local community members themselves. The DC said police protection will be given if asked and the encroachments should be removed.
Mr. Deve Gowda drew attention to the encroachment of Poornaiah canal and said many residential areas have cropped up on the canal bed. He drew attention to the clearance of encroachments of the Rajakaluves in Bengaluru and said why no survey had been undertaken to assess the extent of encroachment of Poornaiah canal. He called for permanent solution to the issue and pointed out that recent rain had created havoc at K. Hemmanahalli.
There were also discussions related to damage caused by rain and the elected representatives were informed that in HD Kote, 35 km stretch of road had been damaged apart from three bridges, while 18 km stretch of road in Periyapatana had been damaged.
MLA Chikkamadu flayed the officials for their lackadaisical attitude in assessing the damage and said this will delay release of funds and compensation. Mr. Deve Gowda said ₹44 crore would be required to repair the road works in his constituency alone. Mr. Somashekar took exception to the delay in taking up road works under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yogana and the Deputy Commissioner directed the officials to expedite the works.
The Additional DC said that the rain damage assessment indicates that 274 primary schools were affected apart from 15 anganwadi kendras, 13 primary health centers, 82 bridges, 479 electricity poles, and 12 transformers and the cumulative loss due to the rain was pegged at ₹340 crore and a report had been submitted to the State.
MLAs Anil Chikkmadu and K. Mahadev, MCC Commissioner Lakshmikanth Reddy, ZP CEO BR Poornima, and others were present.