Saturday, December 3, 2022

The biggest challenge yet for Puttenahalli Lake - Update

 If you noticed, we have not been sending you lake updates as often as before. This is because from March 2021 we have been in the thick of our biggest challenge - getting the authorities to protect Puttenahalli Puttakere from encroachers. 

Our endeavour to rehabilitate the slum dwellers (some 40 families in 2010 now grown to 119) so that their quality of life may improve in better housing elsewhere began in 2008.  Each time we think we are on the verge of achieving this goal, our hope crashes. We pick ourselves up because we owe it to Puttakere itself and to you, our well-wishers, volunteers, and donors who have stood by us all these years. 

In essence, on 15th July 2022, a two-member bench of the Karnataka High Court passed an order on our writ petition directing BBMP to remove the encroachment at Puttenahalli Lake and submit a compliance report. As soon as they received the eviction notice, the slum dwellers filed a WP (20300/2022) in the High Court and obtained a stay order. When informed of this, the bench orally directed BBMP on 24/11/2022 to get the stay vacated. 

Our uncertainty continues but we are encouraged by the Judges coming down heavily on the authorities for not protecting lakes, buffer zones and storm water drains from encroachments. Also, since lake related cases have been clubbed together, the hearings have been happening fairly frequently. The last was on 1st December and the next will be on the 7th. You can read the orders and follow our WP 4964/2021 on the Karnataka Judiciary website.

Wish us well!

Best regards
PNLIT team

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