BENGALURU: As you approach Bellandur Lake, you see what looks like snow or giant flakes of cotton. But a closer look will reveal that it is the foam caused by pollution. Cleaning up the lake may need hundreds of crores of rupees, say environmentalists.
With authorities doing little or nothing to cleanse the lake, residents and activists are on a mission to save the lake.
According to Nagesh, an activist committed to save the city’s lakes, Bellandur Lake receives at least 600 MLD sewage water and it takes nearly three days for the sewage to flow out of the lake.
“Even after the sewage is treated, the water still contains nitrate and potassium. This is because the sewage treatment plant doesn’t have the capacity to tackle it,” he said.
He said the state government’s plan to build sewage treatment plants at an estimated cost of `5,000 crore was a waste of money as it won’t solve the problem.
He suggested instead the bioremediation process, which is cost-effective.
Elangovan K, an IT entrepreneur who also works with Whitefield Rising (a community dedicated to the welfare of the residents of the area), said, “The situation is getting worse and worse every year. This year, heavy rains added to the woes. The drinking water was polluted and schools around lake were also affected.”
Traffic gridlock in the foam-covered area is common.
Several studies have been conducted on the lake. T V Ramachandra, a scientist at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), in his study said that the lake water was 99% polluted. IISc collected a sample of the lake water for testing, and found that it had traces of nitrates, potassium, sulphate which contaminate water.
What is Bioremediation?
It is a process where instead of simply collecting the pollutant and storing it, it relies on living organisms to consume and break down the compound, turning it into harmless, natural substances.