Karnataka: Residents want work on Varthur, Bellandur lakes to restart soon

Restoration stopped last year; Varthur lake filthy after breach in sewage diversion channel
Varthur lake.
Varthur lake.(File Photo | Express)

BENGALURU: Restoration work at Varthur and Bellandur lakes has come to a standstill, claimed activists and residents. Varthur Lake, which saw a breach of the sewage diversion channel during rain, now has pollutants in the lake area. Residents want a commitment from the government that the water body will be restored soon.

Jagadish Reddy of Varthur Rising said Varthur tank was drained and 95 per cent of the silt was removed. In Bellandur Lake, 55 per cent of silt was removed, but work took a hit five months ago. In October last year, Varthur Lake suffered a breach and all work was wasted.

“Had the authorities expedited work at Varthur Lake, by now wetland improvement could have begun. Despite the National Green Tribunal setting a time-bound action plan for restoration of the two biggest water bodies of Bengaluru, the Bangalore Development Authority has failed,” he said.

“BDA could have taken up work as the monsoon failed. Since the new government had taken over and a new BDA chairman has just been appointed, we hope there will be progress in restoration works,” said Reddy.

Residents said the government had proposed a 25 MLD-capacity Sewage Treatment Plant, but work is yet to start. A temporary sewage diversion channel cannot be relied upon as it may suffer a breach again, they added.

BDA Assistant Executive Engineer SS Aravind, tasked with monitoring desilting work at these water bodies, said work at Bellandur resumed just a few weeks ago and by the end of summer, about 80 per cent of desilting will be completed.

On Varthur Lake, he said the contractor is thinking of backing out as the tender was revised, and says it is not feasible. “The wetland mentioned in the earlier tender was small and once revised, the contractor says it may not work out for him. Since he has already done the work, we have asked him to take it up,” said Aravind.

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