BENGALURU: Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) has lashed out against Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) for not redirecting sewage from storm water drains, thus delaying lake development work.
BDA officials said its board had decided not to take on any other lakes for development till BWSSB addressed the issue as it would attract public and activists’ criticism and result in inefficient use of funds. Last year, BDA revived 12 of 117 lakes under its care.
“After this, we decided to develop more lakes and hand them over to agencies like Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Lake Development Authority (LDA) and the Forest Department to maintain,” said Shivashankar, Superintendent Engineer, Lakes Division, BDA.
“But with sewage flowing into them, we fear they will be full of filth within three months of cleaning,” he added.
Environmentalist A N Yellappa Reddy said BWSSB’s negligence and inefficiency was responsible for the froth spewing from Bellandur and Varthur Lakes.
Overall, the development activity cost BDA Rs 75 crore, said Shivashankar.
Now many of these lakes have filled up, thanks to the rains, and birds species like purple heron, grey heron, night heron, moorhen, ibis (black and white), bulbuls, egret and kingfisher frequent their waters.
“BDA’s Lake Division also ensured BWSSB set up sewage treatment plants at some lakes like Mallathalli and Ullal of 5 and 1 MLD (million liters per day) capacity respectively. Once these lakes are full, the water flows to others through canals, leading to circulation of clean water among lakes and recharging of groundwater,” said Shivashankar.
17 more lakes by March
In early 2015, BDA committed to developing 17 lakes. Work on Amruthalli, Arekere, B Narayanpura, Byrasandra, Doddabidrakallu, Doddanekundi, Dubani Palya, Gandhinagar (in Hoskere), Gangashetty, Hoskerehalli, Manganahalli, Mestripalya, Narasappanahalli, Nela Gaddiranahalli, Shivanahalli, Sitaramanahalli and Vibhuthipura lakes have begun, said an official.
De-silting, weeding, fencing, setting up counter bunds, inlets and outlets, paths for walking around the lakes and seats for walkers is in progress and should be complete in four months, the official said.
BDA will develop these lakes under an estimated budget of Rs 62.19 crore. So far, Rs 22.53 crore has been released to contractors.
Under KSPCB scanner
Karnataka State Pollution Control Board officials say the board had filed a criminal case under Section 44 of Water Pollution Control Act 1975 against BWSSB officials for failing to divert sewage and allowing it to enter lakes and culverts.
The KSPCB has served several notices to civic agencies like BBMP and BDA for failing in their duty to protect lakes. BWSSB has been booked for not checking sewage in-flow.
BWSSB promises action
BWSSB has chalked out a plan to ensure all sewage generated in the city is treated.
It has now proposed the setting up of six new sewage treatment plants, which Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has cleared. This is in addition to the 10 STPs for which work is going on.
BWSSB chairperson T M Vijay Bhaskar said the six plants will have the capacity to treat 500 MLD.
Bengaluru produces an estimated 1,500 MLD of sewage everyday.
“The total capacity of existing treatment plants is only 721 MLD. Once all our plants are in place, BWSSB will be able ensure only treated water enters lakes, and that may be possible by end of 2016,” said a BWSSB official.
Rachenahalli Lake: 127.46 acres
Jakkur Lake: 164.1 acres
Venkateshpura Lake: 10.35 acres
Mallathalli Lake: 72.15 acres
Ullal Lake: 24.12 acres
Komghatta Lake: 37.5 acres
Ramasandra Lake: 132 acres
Komasadra Lake: 37.14 acres
Talghatpura Lake: 19.14 acres
Kothnur Lake: 18.9 acres
Madhavara Lake: 63.28 acres