Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Dorekere lake revival doomed

Dorekere lake revival doomed

A sewerage line, 250 metres long, runs through the water body's bed fuelling fears of leakage

Sunitha Rao R. Bangalore

Dorekere lake in Padmanabhanagar, was all set for resuscitation. The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) called for tenders in July this year for the comprehensive improvement of the lake.
Last week, chief minister BS Yeddyurappa inaugurated a range of development works in Padmanabhanagar constituency. Among the works listed was the restoration of Dorekere lake. Residents were jubilant. It now appears, however, that even before it starts, work on the Dorekere lake might be doomed.
A sewerage line, 250 metres long, runs through the Dorekere lake bed is set to be developed.
This is rocky terrain, and BBMP authorities rule out the possibility of shifting the sewer line before work on the rejuvenation of the lake begins. The concrete pipeline with sewage water will thus flow on the bed of the lake, and any breakage of that pipe will cause contamination of the lake water.
Unless the sewerage line is diverted, residents feel, there is little point in undertaking work on the lake.
R Prasad, who lives in the vicinity, said, "There are miscreants who might deliberately break the concrete, and allow the sewage in the drain to mix with the lake water. Why do the authorities want to pollute something, and then restore it?"
BV Mahesh Kumar, another resident of the area, said, "There is a trunk drain of the BBMP in the vicinity of the lake. This drain flows from Yelachenahalli to Mayasandra. Why cannot the BBMP coordinate with the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to divert the water in the sewer to this trunk drain? If this is not done now, the lake will need to be rejuvenated again in a couple of years."
As per BBMP records, the total area of the lake, including its catchment area, is 27 acres and 23 guntas. The area of the water body is 81,306 sq metres. However, what exists to the naked eye is a pipeline, with little trace of water.
Residents say that until 2002, there was even boating happening on the lake. Deterioration of the lake started from 2004, when the nearby Gowdanapalya was developed into an industrial belt, and chemical effluents began to flow into the sewage lines in the area.
By 2006, the water began to smell foul, and the public stayed away.
A senior BBMP official said, "The lake water was foul-smelling. We are trying to improve it. Diversion of the sewerage line is just not possible. We have ensured that the water will not mix — the sewerage line is a concrete one."
Officials add that the area is rocky, and excavating rocks to divert the line would be expensive. Besides, even if the pipe is embedded in the earth and laid such that the lake water is not directly in contact with it, it would be next to impossible to detect any leakage.
De-silting of the lake bed, strengthening the bund, creation of a wetland and the formation of an island within the lake are all part of the development works planned.


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