BENGALURU: A day after thousands of fish were found dead in Ulsoor Lake, the government has ordered a clean-up. It also set a week’s deadline for stakeholders to give reasons for the fsh kill.
Mahendra Jain, Additional Chief Secretary, Forests, Ecology and Environment, visited the lake with Lakshman, Chairman, Karnataka Pollution Control Board, on Tuesday.
He summoned officials from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewage Board, Department of Fisheries, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and Lake Development Authority to the spot and asked what they were doing for the upkeep of the lake.
“There is a huge amount of plastic in the lake area near the MEG entrance. Sewage was also noticed. Excess fish population could also have caused the deaths,” he told Express.
A report is expected soon. Jain has suggested a wall near Kalyani to arrest the garbage and let in only water. “The BWSSB has been asked to fix sewage leaks,” he said.
V Satish, Chief Engineer of Lakes, said work would begin on the barrier. “In two months, it will be ready. We will also use a mesh to stop the flow of sewage into the lake,” he said.
S M Ramakrishna, Chief Engineer, BWSSB, promised action against citizens releasing sewage into the lake. “In the next 10 days, a broken pipe will be fixed,” he told Express.A sewage treatment plant at Challaghatta connects to Halasuru. Its current capacity is 250 million litres a day, and it will be expanded to 60, he said.
Syed Moinuddin, environment expert and a resident of Halasuru, suggested canna plants could help. “This plant cleans up the lake and its life is six years. The BBMP can save money by growing this plant in the lake,” he said.
Commercial fishing might also encourage cleanliness, but if it comes at the cost of the environment, it should be discouraged, he said.
Dead Fish Cleared
BBMP officials say their workers have been cleaning the lake since Monday.
“We have cleared 10 bags of dead fish and dumped them in a soil pit,” an official said.
Laxmana G, President, Meenugarara Sahakara Sanghagala Okkuta, who has taken up the contract to carry out fishing, said, “The deaths are due not to over-population, but to sewage. Holding us responsible is wrong.” He estimated his federation’s loss at Rs 2 lakh.