Wednesday, September 09, 2009

ULSOOR LAKE’S glory sinks with stink

ULSOOR LAKE’S glory sinks with stink
Garlands, Vegetable Peels, Plastic Bottles, Polythene Float On Oily Water Surface
— Sruthy Susan Ullas
TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Bangalore: People living near Ulsoor lake hardly take off their face masks these days. It’s not the swine flu they fear, but the stench from the lake prevents them from even leaving their windows open or coming out for a breath of fresh air.
Blame it on algae formation and garbage decaying in the lake. Garlands, vegetable peels, plastic bottles and polythene covers float on the oily surface of the lake. To make matters worse is the night soil by the lakeside. The
algae also keeps forming as no fresh water is being added to the lake regularly.
All this whips up an unbearable stench.
Not a good experience
“My office is half a kilometre inside MEG Centre. When there’s a light breeze, the stench reaches even there,” said Jayaraj Joseph, clerk, MEG. The pathetic state of the lake is despite the huge amount spent on maintenance. BBMP pays Rs 95,000 to contractors to clean it. Cleaning programmes, the latest after Ganesh Chaturthi, are also done after occasions. The combined budget for all these is nearly Rs 1 lakh.
BBMP claims the lake is cleaned regularly with potassium permanganate. But, the effort is not enough, it admits. “The clean-up with eight to ten labourers is not enough for the entire area. Some parts are left out every day. The stink comes from those areas,” said a BBMP official.
Cause of the unpleasant decay
The source of the garbage is storm water drains and people hurling waste into it. “People dump garbage in these drains. We have seen even bath tubs come floating into the lake from it,” said the BBMP official. “Some come here every day to throw waste. Within half an hour of cleaning the lake, it’s back to square one,” he added.
Nobody likes the lake’s new effect
Residents have become fearful. “There’s a threat of dengue and chikungunya. We cannot sit here for a moment without a mosquito biting us. We are worried about our health,” said Sukhdev N, a resident.
Others are staying away from Ulsoor Lake and the nearby Vivekanada Park. “The number of people coming has decreased and this has affected my business as well,” said Venkatesh, a shopkeeper in the area.
Joggers are taking new routes. “Usually from 5 am, I’d see many people come to the park for a walk. Last week, there were very few,” said Shivaji M, a security personnel in Aqua Forte, an adjoining apartment.
“The MEG as well as Trishna Boating Club members have abandoned their daily rowing due to this unbearable stench. We have appealed to Ulsoor corporator M Saravana and BBMP assistant engineers, but there’s been a lukewarm response,” said Vijay K Rekhi, president and managing director, United Spirits Ltd.
Welcome to
inconvenience
People living near Ulsoor Lake hardly take off their face masks these days
Not swine flu but stench from the lake prevents them from even leaving their windows open
Algae keeps forming as no fresh water is being added to the lake regularly
Source of the garbage is storm water drains and people hurling waste into it

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