Choked by urban waste, Bengaluru lakes become sewage tanks

Despite severe backlash from various citizen groups, the condition of Subramanyapura lake, Dorekere lake and Gowdanapalya lake near Uttarahalli has not improved.

Published: 29th May 2017 06:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th May 2017 07:05 AM   |  A+A-

Challakere lake is the latest victim of officials’ negligence | NAGESH POLALI

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Despite severe backlash from various citizen groups, the condition of Subramanyapura lake, Dorekere lake and Gowdanapalya lake near Uttarahalli has not improved. In fact, they have gone from bad to worse.

Rapid urbanisation around these lakes have transformed them into sewage tanks. Interestingly, a few years ago, these lakes used to attract many migratory birds. But today, they are facing constant threat from land sharks.

The recent rains have aggravated the condition even more.
Noted environmentalist Yellappa Reddy who was part of the lake expert committee for Bellandur and Varthur points out, “Huge dumping of waste by apartment dwellers and BBMP garbage contractors have been a major concern here. There is no protection to these lakes. Those who are dumping waste here, have no idea that they are eventually drinking the dirty lake water through borewell. Despite NGT’s order to levy fine, there is no enforcement. The police can play an important role by patrolling around the lake at night.”

“Increasing number of people are building shelters by landfilling the tanks from all the sides. Sewage still flows from all corners towards the lakes,” says Raghu B V who stays near Dorekere lake.
Two years ago, over 10,000 fish died at Dorekere lake after sewage flooded into the 28.17 acre-lake following heavy rains.
Residents complain that the BBMP’s 2.15 crore sewage treatment plant at the lake is a waste of money as it can treat only 1mld of water.

Fishermen working on the lake said, “The Sewage Treatment Plant at Gowdanapalya lake cannot handle the capacity of sewage flowing into it. During heavy rain, sewage from this lake overflows into Dorekere carrying the sewage water to all the lakes nearby. Majority of the fish die due to this.”
 “Sometimes, due to heavy rains,  the canals which carry the sewage breaks. Because of this, the sewage flows into lakes. As soon as such crisis arises, we take immediate steps,” said BBMP officials.
Artifical bund at Challakere lake ‘washed away’

Challakere lake has been crying for attention for a long time now. The recent downpour is only adding to the misery as the artificial bund built to prevent sewage water has been washed away due heavy rains recently. Now, sewage water is entering the lake profusely.

Raghavendra, a resident said, “Sewage was always a major problem here. But with the rains, the issue has aggravated. There is an obnoxious smell emanating from the area due to the ongoing situation. The civic agencies have been informed about the vulnerability of the lake but nobody pays any heed to the requests.”
Just like any other lakes in the city, Challakere lake too is dying a slow death. “Many residents  have been trying to save the lake for years now. But the civic agencies haven’t shown any interest,” added another resident.

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