BANGALORE: Indian Army’s woes in Bangalore continue. If the two Para Special Forces are waiting for land to set up a safe Drop Zone, the Madras Engineering Group and Centre (MEG&C) has now launched a hunt for a water body to train its men. Reason: Their lone lifeline for ages - the Ulsoor Lake - is filled with sewage, filth and weeds. Aftermath: The sacrosanct Army training schedules have gone for a toss. Solution: The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) must step in swiftly and restore the pride of the lake and Army.
Army sources say that they have taken up the matter with the BBMP officials attached to Environment Cell. “We have been told that the tendering work to clean up the lake needs be initiated. The sewage is coming into the lake from nearby colonies. We did the testing of the water and found the sewage content at alarming rates,” sources said.
It is mandatory for the Army to train its men in a water source for Wet Bridging (Floating Bridge) exercise. For many decades, the Ulsoor Lake has been the lifeline for the Sappers, who also undertake training in water sports activities like rowing, sailing and kayaking, canoeing. Men are also trained in combat engineering operations for lagoon patrolling in the lake.
The MEG Sappers are now looking for an alternative area with water bodies for training their men. “We will have to shift the training area and translocate boats, outboard motors, paddles and weight training equipment. We can’t afford to have our training schedules hit like this,” sources said.
The Army is left with no choice but to wait for the BBMP to act. “We have promised the BBMP officials men and material, but the funding has to come from them. There are many successful lake desilting models available with them and it’s a question of putting the right one for Ulsoor Lake,” sources said.
The BBMP has written to MEG in October 2011 promising to take up the works, including rejuvenation of existing Kadarenahalli Lake by desilting, rain water harvesting facilities and construction of a sewage treatment plant in the vicinity.