Monday, August 03, 2009

Nellurhalli Lake crying for immediate attention

Nellurhalli Lake crying for immediate attention
Sandeep Moudgal, Bangalore, DH News Service:

The Nellurhalli lake in Whitefield is in a state of total decay, with sewerage lines discharging effluents from factories and a private hospital in the vicinity.


The lake has been reduced to a polluted water body with hyacinths and carcasses, garbage on the banks and encroachments along the periphery.

“Repeated appeals to clean the lake have gone in vain,” alleged a local resident.

According to them, the effluents from the factories and waste from the hospital are the sole reason for such high pollution levels in the water body. The finger points to the Vaidehi Hospital located nearby, which allegedly discharges high content of solid and liquid waste matters into the lake. A foul smell pervades the area near the lake.

When questioned, hospital authorities did not deny the allegations. “We have a treatment plant that filters the waste, but some of it is discharged into the lake,” said an official.

Hospital authorities also blamed the local merchants for dumping meat and other waste in the lake. Vaidehi hospital currently has a capacity to treat 13 lakh tons of waste in its Sewage Treatment Plant. However, authorities claim that only seven lakh tons of waste is generated by the medical institute.

Authorities said that the sewerage line that carries the hospital waste is also used by other industries in the area. “The line is up to Graphite India Industry. The effluent discharged by the industries connected by this line also adds up to the pollutants discharged into the lake,” the official said.

The lake in such bad condition a few years ago. “The workers in the Ecumenical Christian Centre (ECC) used the same water for washing and bathing four or five years ago. It was even used for drinking,” recalls ECC Director Rev Dr M Mani Chako.

As the state of the lake deteriorated, the ECC requested the Department of Mines and Geology, State Ground Water Cell to conduct a test. The results showed extremely high content of Phosphate and Nitrate.

Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986 prescribes nitrate content at 6.6 mg/l with phosphate at 0.1 mg/l. The nitrate content was found to be 54 mg/l and phosphate at 6.88 mg/l in Nellurhalli lake.

With Lake Development Authority yet to act, the pathetic situation of the lake has now been brought to the notice of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials and the MLA from the area, Higher Education Minister Arvind Limbavali, according to residents of Whitefield.

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