K.B. Koliwad says figures were given by BBMP based on findings of an independent agency on buffer zone violations

Over 2.5 lakh residences, flats, commercial complexes and perhaps, even government offices will come under the scanner for ‘encroaching’ buffer zones around lakes and storm water drains (SWDs) in the city.

“Up to 1.14 lakh properties have encroached buffer zones around lakes while a further 1.34 lakh households have come up within the buffer zone of rajakaluves (SWDs),” said K.B. Koliwad, Chairperson of the Joint Committee on Tank Bed Encroachments, on Wednesday. The committee comprises elected representatives from both houses.

“BBMP (Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike) has given us these figures after they hired an independent agency to ascertain the extent of buffer zone violations. A combination of satellite images and revenue maps were used to tabulate encroachments. The method is ‘95 per cent accurate’ and it would take a platoon of surveyors to ensure total accuracy – something the committee did not have time for,” he said.

The 10-member committee is looking at properties that have encroached on the 30m buffer zone – that is, the ‘no-development zone’ – around lakes, and between 15m and 50m from the centre of drains, as specified under the Bangalore Development Authority’s Revised Master Plan 2015, which was enforced in 2007.

“We are going by the 2007 Act and not the recent National Green Tribunal order (which increases the buffer zone to 75m). There has not been any notification with regard to the new buffer zone,” said Mr. Koliwad.