Image used for representational purposes.
Image used for representational purposes.

Poor state of lakes a big turn off, residents seek better water quality

Residents demanded local government intervention, adding more benches, installing dustbins for better garbage management, and taking care of plants during dry seasons. 

BENGALURU: While parks, gardens, and the hundreds of lakes in the city can be of some solace to Bengalureans, a recently released survey showed that not many are happy with the condition of the water bodies. Over 89 percent of people who frequent lakes were found to be living in close proximity.

The report — Lake Use — by ActionAid Association, an NGO that works for social and ecological justice, revealed that 157 out of 394 people surveyed expressed that odor emanating from lakes makes them dislike going there. Ninety members responded that the walk paths were unsafe during the rainy season. 

Many also pointed out that lack of toilets or non-maintenance was a huge problem while visiting the water bodies. The survey was conducted in four prominent lakes in South Bengaluru, such as Chunchaghatta, Doddakallasandra, Dorekere, and Kothnur. A total of 394 individuals were surveyed who visited the lakes in the mornings and evenings. The report is based on a seven-day (from October 5 to October 11) interaction by volunteers from the NGO with passersby.  

“The report talks about lacunas in the maintenance of lakes. Basic amenities such as broken sitting spaces and lack of toilets for senior citizens. The majority of respondents in Doddakallasandra and Dorekere Lake also spoke about the quality of water in the lakes. Sewage is allowed to enter the lakes without any wetlands or barriers, it starts stinking,” said Raghavendra B Pachhapur, senior project lead at ActionAid. 

The short survey attempts to shed light on the poor maintenance of open public spaces. Respondents demanded local government intervention, adding more benches, installing dustbins for better garbage management, and taking care of plants during dry seasons. 

The menace of stray dogs and cattle also posed a threat to visitors. A few people also expressed that timings should be extended and lakes should be maintained as a natural habitation. Pachhapur added, “Even though there is no official ban on photography, security personnel don’t allow the taking of photographs, which should not happen because these pictures get circulated among groups and help create more awareness about biodiversity. Photography should be encouraged.” 

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