Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lake despair: Filth over troubled waters

Lake despair: Filth over troubled waters



Y Maheswara ReddyFirst Published : 24 Nov 2009 04:05:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 24 Nov 2009 10:18:08 AM IST
BANGALORE: A few years ago, Bangalore’s green activists got a faint ray of hope when the Bangalore Development Authority decided to rejuvenate the Benniganahalli Lake. The ray of hope has been obliterated by the inefficient follow-up by the authorities concerned.
There was a time when the Benniganahalli Lake water was used to irrigate paddy fields in the surroundings of Old Madras Road.
When the agricultural lands became residential layouts, the lake became a place for dumping garbage and for other activities. That was when the BDA stepped in. When the BDA undertook the construction of a flyover that connects the Outer Ring Road with the Old Madras Road more than a decade ago, it also spent about Rs 2 crore to develop the lake.
Residents of this area, especially the joggers, were satisfied with this development. The BDA had planted a number of saplings and made seating arrangements on the lake bund for people who want to spend time in its serene surroundings.
This pleasure was short-lived.
The BDA wrote two letters (2007- 08/352 on March 17, 2008 and 759:2008-09 on December 22, 2008) advising the Lake Development Authority to take over the maintenance of the lake. These letters did no good.
At present sewage water from surrounding areas such as Benniganahalli, Kasturinagar, Vijayapura, Chinnasandra flows into the lake.
“The bad odour from the lake water is unbearable. The lake is a breeding ground for mosquitoes,” says M Narayana (45) of Benniganahalli.
The lake also serves as garbage dumping place for people around the vicinity. They bring the garbage in plastic bags and throw it into the lake from atop of the flyover. The lorries that bring sheep from neighbouring states also contribute their bit. “No one has removed the rotten carcass of a sheep that was thrown into it,” says Narayana Gowda.
Apart from an overgrowth of parthenium weeds in the lake, the caterpillars abounding in the area are proving to be a problem. Krishnarajapuram MLA, claims that he is doing his best to develop the lake.
“I deputed some workers to trim the bushes. I am planning to divert the sewer lines that bring sewage water to the lake. I am also planning to put up a fence to prevent any encroachments,” he says.
The other drawback of the lake, that could have very well become the Sankey Tank of the area, is that there are no lights on the lake bund, especially on the walking track.
“There are incidents of drunkards harassing people who use the walking track on the lake bund after 7 pm. There have been complaints of robberies too. Some people even use the tank bund as a public toilet,” a senior citizen claimed.

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