BENGALURU: For several residents near Chinnappanahalli lake near Marathahalli, the weekend began on a sour note as hundreds of dead fish were seen floating in the lake on Saturday morning.
Residents also complained of foul smell. A chemical shock caused by chemicals mixing with sewage and leading to a drop in oxygen levels in the lake is likely to have killed the fish.
Located at Marathahalli bridge of Mahadevapura zone spread across 56.8 square hectares, the lake is maintained by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike in association with Chinnapanahalli Lake Development Trust, TCS and other companies since 2015. An MoU was signed for three years (till 2018). Recently, soon after private agencies started encroaching upon a portion of the lake, BBMP authorities put up a fence around the lake and also sent earth movers to remove silt from the waterbody.
A senior officer from BBMP blamed Karnataka Fisheries Department for giving fishing rights to private people for a nominal charge. “In spite of us undertaking maintenance of the lake, if another government agency does not cooperate, what can we do?” he said.
Officials at the fisheries department blame BWSSB for letting sewage into the lake. BWSSB passes on the blame to residents for not setting up sewage treatment plants in apartments despite repeated notices.
Shreekumar, a resident of Brookefield near the lake, said there are several automobile garages near the lake bed. “Staff at these garages dump waste, including cloth used to clean chemicals near the lake bed,” he said.
Puneet Prakash, a resident of Gopalan Habitat Splendour in Kundalahalli, walks regularly near the lake. “We were told oxygen levels in the lake had come down. Many dead fish were seen floating,” he said.
Ramachandran, secretary of Chinnapanahalli Lake Development Trust, said the Chinnappanahalli village has many apartment complexes and commercial establishments. The sewage lines from these buildings are not connected to the main sewage line and remain open at one end. When it rains, sewage water from the open line is washed into the lake. “We have complained to BBMP and BWSSB, but in vain. This time the damage is severe,” he said.