Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ulsoor Lake still in murky waters

Ulsoor Lake still in murky waters

December 23rd, 2009
By Our Correspondent
Tags: BBMP, Civic Sense, Ulsoor Lake clean

Dec. 22: The ambitious plan to keep Ulsoor Lake clean has failed to bear fruit. Despite pumping in Rs 20 lakh every year to keep the lake free from garbage and pungent odours, sewage still seeps into the water body, which is a cause for concern to Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the public.
Authorities have put the blame for the situation on the public, who, they allege, lack good civic sense. BBMP has also pulled up Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) for failing to prevent the discharge of drainage and sewage water from stormwater drains at Doddakunta and Munireddypalya, which ultimately enter the lake.
RBANMS College, located near the lake, bears the brunt of the lack of coordination.
An unbearable stench has been emanating from the lake since the last one week, say the disgruntled students and teachers.
“The odour is due to the growth of blue green algae, which thrives in sewage water,” says a BBMP engineer. According to experts, silver carp fish can help in eliminating the growth of blue green algae. However, though the BWSSB horticulture department has trying to bring the fish into the lake, it seems the odour is here to stay for a while since the fish is a seasonal one, say sources.
A major portion of the money earmarked for the maintenance of the lake will be spent for desilting immersion tanks and the rest will be used to clean tank bunds, clear floating debris and for spraying potassium permanganate, adds the engineer.
However, residents remain skeptical as a whopping Rs 7.5 crore had also been spent on rejuvenating the 120-acre Ulsoor Lake in 2002.
The lake was deweeded and desilted, a diversion channel and a sedimentation tank were also constructed to keep the lake free from sewage and other waste, recalls BBMP sources.
“Unfortunately, despite having screening barriers to stop the entry of waste into the lake, we cannot prevent this during the monsoons. However, a separate sewage lane beneath the walling path of the lake has brought down the contamination level. This helps divert sewage into the Challaghatta Valley and keeps the lake clean as far as possible,” says the engineer. Lieutenant general N.S. Narahari, a resident of Ulsoor, and a member of the monitoring committee says, “Though the Ulsoor Lake Foundation was formed with an additional chief secretary at the helm, it still remains only on papers. Sewage has been diverted from entering the drain but it is up to BWSSB to ensure that it does not enter the lake.”

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