Revive Bengaluru’s raja kaluves instead of Mekedatu project: Environmentalists

Either the stormwater drains and lakes have been concretised or they have become sewage carriers in the city.

Published: 03rd July 2023 08:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd July 2023 08:17 AM   |  A+A-


Representational image of Mekedatu. (File photo| EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU:  Environmentalists advocate for revival of the raja kaluve network and dead lakes in Bengaluru to resolve the city’s drinking water problem instead of moving ahead with the Mekedatu Reservoir Project. 

Either the stormwater drains and lakes have been concretised or they have become sewage carriers in the city.  If the lakes and the entire raja kaluve network is revived, it will streamline the water levels, Leo F Saldanha, coordinator of an Environment Support Group, a Bengaluru-based NGO said. 

River Cauvery in Mekedatu

Experts explained that the geographical location of Bengaluru is such that is surrounded by three major valley systems - Vrishabhavathi Valley, Hebbal Valley and Koramangala-Challaghatta Valley housing many lakes and play a crucial role in hydrological processes and replenishment of the groundwater. 

While DK Shivakumar, Deputy CM and Water Resource Minister met the Union Jal Shakti Minister briefing him about the project and how the excess water can be used to meet Bengaluru’s drinking water requirements. Environmentalists said that the Mekedatu issue has become political now and its sustainability aspect is not being considered.

The Cauvery river does not have enough water to build another dam. Since the past 10 years the river has not changed its course, even the precipitation levels have remained the same, Saldanha explained. Breaching of lakes or flooding is only seen during the monsoon season when the water has no place to seep in resulting in overflowing.   

Nagesh Hegde, an environmental communicator said the government is rooting for ancient methods to meet city’s water needs instead of utilising advanced technology available for treating impure water. The technology is so advanced now that the world is utilising sewage water by transforming it into potable water. The government is rooting for the dam which is destructive for the environment instead.  

Since Bengaluru is situated on a plateau-like land, it receives almost 15 tmc rainfall annually and 13 tmc water which flows through the drainage or sewage. Setting up a dam in the south of the city and investing money to pump the water back is pure wastage of resources, Hegde added. 

Experts said, if the Rs 9,000 crore project is given approval it will destroy the ecology in both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Around 63 per cent of the forest area of the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary will be submerged. 


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