In an effort to save Bangalore’s few remaining water bodies, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike is planning an ambitious Rs 6,500-crore lake interlinking and sewage clearing project.
Pollution is the first target with plans to stop sewage from flowing into the water bodies. There is also a plan to interlink all the water bodies by clearing canals that are currently encroached. This will facilitate ground water recharge, conserve water and provide 500 million litres more per day to the water deficient city.
It is said to be the first such project in the country. Bangalore-in-charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy told Express, “In the past, when lakes overflowed, water would go from one to the other. All lakes were interconnected. But now, the canals that used to facilitate the overflowing lake water are lost. We are conducting a survey to trace these canals and to reconnect the lakes.’’
Reddy said 856 km of canals used to connect 56 lakes from Dasarahalli to Bommanahalli across the city. ‘’So far, surveyors have traced 138 km of canals. Once the survey is completed in another eight months, we will notify the encroachments and get them vacvated as soon as possible,’’ Reddy added.
The data on encroachments is to be digitised and put up on the BBMP website to ensure all stakeholders are given enough time before they are vacated.
Reddy said, once rejuvenated, these canals will act as feeders to the lakes, provide for percolation of ground water and prevent flooding in the city’s low-lying areas. Adequate precautions would be taken to ensure only clean water flows into these lakes.
“As we have to dig contour canals to divert and canalise the sewage that is flowing into these lakes, the project is estimated to cost around Rs 6,500 crore. BBMP engineers have proposed to undertake the project with funding from World Bank or JnNURM and have submitted a proposal in this regard. The project will be taken forward as soon as the government approves it,” he said.