Saturday, November 01, 2008

Lakes choke on sewage

Lakes choke on sewage

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The city's waterbodies which survived the realty mafiosi turning lakebeds into building sites, are faced with a greater danger - rising pollution as builders route raw sewage and sewerage into the waters, grievously damaging the once pristine and increasingly scarce water source which is a major support system for citizens and animals who live by its shores and the ecosystem within, that supports rich marine life.

The death of over 1,000 fish in Siddapura lake on Thursday is the latest such instance.

According to the member, secretary of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board M.S. Gowdar, initial reports after inspection of the lake show that the fish died because of the rising levels of sewer water from the colonies around the Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML).

KSPCB, in a random survey conducted earlier last month, has identified 53 lakes in the city as highly polluted. Belandur lake is the most polluted, says, Mr Gowdar. There are 278 big lakes (of an area in excess of 40 acres) and 1,406 smaller lakes which are maintained by BBMP, BDA, BMRDA and the department of minor irrigation. In addition, there are 114 lakes under the jurisdiction of the forest department.

Officials at the Lake Development Authority blame builders and developers around the lakes for polluting the water bodies. “The entry of sewer water into these lakes make it not only unfit for aquatic life but also unfit for human habitation around their surroundings,” said an official on condition of anonymity. When their plans are sanctioned, builders and developers pay bribes to the officials and make sure that the sewers conveniently open into nearby lakes.

“The pipes are laid in such a way that even inspections will not detetct whether the sewage pipe opens into the lake. One can observe that all the polluted lakes are located in areas which are fast developing and where a number of high-rises have come up,” said BWSSB chief engineer T. Venkataraju.

If adequate care is not taken and offending industries, developers and builders are not punished, the city lakes will soon disappear, said a KSPCB official. “Now the government has to worry not only about encroachments, but also about large-scale pollution of lakes,” he added.

RESUSCITATION EFFORTS ? 17 lakes that have been taken up by BBMP for rejuvenation at a cost of Rs 190 crore: Puttenahalli lake, Sarakki lake, Allasandra lake, Yelahanka lake, Kalkere, Alur lake, Kaudenalli lake, Chinnappanalli lake, Kaikondanalli, Amblipur, Uttaralli, Dorekere, Dasarahalli, Nayandahalli, Malagala, Deepanjali, Kodigehalli ? 12 lakes taken up for the rejuvenation by BDA at a cost of Rs 90 crore: Jakkur, Sampigehalli, Rachanahalli, Venkateshpura, Kothnur, Thalgatpura, Konasandra, Sompura, Malathahalli, Komgatta, Ullal, Ramsandra lake, (one more lake-'ll get its name) ? 15 Lakes selected under Integrated Water Management Scheme taken up by BWSSB: Vrushabhavathi valley, Nagavara, Kalkere, Bellandur, Kengeri, K.R.Puram, Koralur, Varthur, Doddabele, Yallamallappa Chetty Kere, Hulimavu, Pillarakatte, Agaram, Puttenahalli, Madavara.


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