BENGALURU: The highly-polluted Vrishabhavathi valley (V-Valley) off Mysore Road in West Bengaluru, has the authorities puzzled. Despite three studies undertaken to ascertain the pollution levels in the waters at V-Valley, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has taken up another study to ascertain the level. This time, the Board has entrusted the work with Regional Occupational Health Centre (ROHC) (Southern), Bengaluru, which comes under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-National Institute of Occupational Health, Ahmedabad.
This also means that improving the condition of V-Valley and nearby areas will take longer. People will have to continue to bear the stench and deal with piled-up garbage around the valley for a longer time.
“Many studies have been undertaken by agencies, including KSPCB, but we are not sure of the data because each report has different findings. So, now we have decided to give the work to ROHC, to conduct the study and pollution in it. Since ROHC is a Central government body, the findings will be more accurate,” said a senior KSPCB official.
The valley is crucial as it supports 35 lakes in West Bengaluru. V-Valley is a tributary of Arkavathy river, which finally flows into Cauvery river, covering 97 sqkm and carrying 2,300 cubic metres of domestic, urban and industrial waste.
According to KSPCB, as on February 2019, 3,304 industries were inspected in V- Valley catchment. KSPCB identified 889 industries for action and issued closure notices to 241. According to BBMP, three sewage treatment plants (STPs) were constructed in the Valley and handed over to BWSSB for maintenance. They are also the oldest STPs in the valley.
There are four STPs in the valley — Nalasandra of 20 MLD (million litres daily), Kempambudhi of 1 MLD, Nagasandra of 75 MLD and Vrushabhavathy Valley treatment plant at RR Nagar of 180 MLD. According to BWSSB, less than 80% of the STPs are functioning. But in reality that is not the case. People complain that every day one can see garbage burning near the valley.
“Despite bringing it to the notice of officials, nothing has been done. Dead fish and animals can be seen floating in the water,” said Santosh M, a commuter. Environmentalist AN Yellappa Reddy said undertaking one more study only shows that KSPCB is not keen on improving the water quality. It shows the failure of all government agencies alike, he said.