The District Administration seems to have bowed down to the demands of public protesting against the ongoing development work at the picturesque Kukkarahalli Lake with the Deputy Commissioner D Randeep ordering temporary halt to the de-silting of lake on Wednesday.
The decision from the DC came after the proposed development project at the lake, taken up by the District Administration and University of Mysore (UoM) at the cost of Rs 3 crore, received flak of the public and environmental activists. Besides protests in front of DC’s office, scores of green activists had signed online petitions to stop the project.
“The proposed project was taken up after getting approval from the Lake Development Authority. Many people have objected to the de-silting of lake saying it would have irreversible damage on the water body. We have temporary suspended the de-silting work on both the ends – UoM and adjacent to Rangayana,” Randeep told City Today after inspecting the lake.
Randeep ordered the civil workers to stop de-silting adjacent to Rangayana and make a slope instead. He further said that he had informed the Lake Development Authority officials about the objection to work. “The officials are expected to visit the lake next week. Depending on their recommendation, further course of action would be decided,” he said.
There was, however, difference of opinion among the public over the de-silting of lake with a few supporting it and others opposing it saying it would further deplete the water level.
Environmentalist U N Ravi Kumar said that the fresh water source for the lake was from Poornaiah Canal but the canal has been blocked and also encroached and the lake is starved of water. A severe drought in Mysuru this year had brought the lake to the verge of ecological collapse and de-silting of the lake at this juncture was sure to bring about irreversible loss of water and destruction of the lake.
Earlier, environmental activists had submitted a memorandum to the DC to stall the civil works and had demanded greater transparency in the lake administration, calling for immediate cessation of all civil works, identification and clearance of channels to help augment water inflow into the lake among others.
The citizens group has also collected over 3500 signatures besides drumming up support through their online campaign to save the lake. The activists have not ruled out approaching the court to stall the works in case the authorities ignore their demands.
Besides, citizens also signed an online petition against turning the joggers’ paradise in to a tourist hub with a butterfly park, aquarium orchidarium, bamboo park, boating in and around the lake precincts. The work was started on February 14.