Lead: Sharachchandra Lele

Bengaluru is a city of man-made lakes, but these lakes are largely in poor condition. The issue of rejuvenation and restoration of lakes has been hovering in the discussions on Water Governance in Bengaluru for a long time. Citizen groups have played an important role in harnessing attention to the matter. Following Public Interest Litigation and cases in the National Green Tribunal, the government has taken several policy measures: transferring lake custody to a single agency (BBMP), funding BBMP to carry out lake rejuvenation, inviting CSR money for lake rejuvenation, etc. The current study examines these changes in lake governance from multiple angles and aims to provide input to policy makers and citizen groups about possible improvements required. Specifically, the study looks at three elements:

  • Creating a public database on the lakes inside the BBMP area, because there appears to be a fair degree of confusion about which lakes exist, where, and in what condition.
  • Analysing the Detailed Project Reports prepared for lake rejuvenation to assess their quality and propose changes in their technical and social dimensions.
  • Proposing overall policy for lake governance to clarify roles and responsibilities and ensure better integration of sectors, science and citizen voices.

Eventually, we expect lake governance to become an integral part of urban water governance.