Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It’s scenic, but for how long?

It’s scenic, but for how long?
Bommanahalli zone has many lakes, but lack of maintenance will dry them up
Jayashree Nandi | TNN

Bangalore: Bommanahalli is among the few zones with not just ample greenery including small farms, but also a number of lakes including Puttenahalli, Madiwala, Agara and Begur. However, most of these areas are not maintained, depriving residents of a potential recreational space.
There are many empty plots in Begur, Electronic City and HSR Layout that are used to dump garbage, and as public toilets. The garment factory area in Bommanahalli is a nightmare for workers because of frequent overflowing of drains and lack of proper sanitation.
At regular intervals in these localities, there are piles of garbage, mostly decomposed organic waste. The drains are clogged and raise a stink.
Begur lake clean but not maintained
Begur lake looks cleaner than other water bodies here, but being close to industries and residential colonies, it is exposed to pollution. The lake has no fencing or security personnel around it. While residents are seen taking evening walks, the water body is used by dhobis during the day. A Nageshwara temple being constructed by the lake is likely to draw crowds.
No water in Singasandra
Water connections have been given to most apartments and houses in this zone. However, supply is yet to begin. Currently, borewells are the only source, wherever available. “We don’t have a borewell and hire tankers. The water we buy lasts only for 3-4 days; one pot costs Re 1. The cost is huge because I have a big family,” says S Selvam, a resident of Singasandra. Groundwater level has come down in these parts. Electronic City also faces severe water crunch.
Living among stray animals
Very close to Electronic City are mountains of organic waste attracting many
stray animals. Rats sneaking in and out of holes is a common sight. However, residents are happy that at least roads have been laid in the past two years. “We hope the government cleans this place. It is the pride of the city,” says Satyanarayana D M, a resident of Electronic City.
HSR Layout residents want action
Diversion of traffic from Ring Road through HSR Layout tops the list of woes here. Unauthorized garbage dumps dot the otherwise neat neighbourhood. Most high-rises have an adjacent vacant plot that is used as a dumping ground. Lack of maintenance of Agara lake — its development is incomplete — is another concern. “They were planning to develop the lake by investing Rs 3 crore. I don’t know what happened to it. The work suddenly stopped. None of us can access the lake now for walks,” says Brigadier R S Murthy.
Thank an enthusiastic civic group
Before BBMP came into the picture last week, HSR Layout’s solid waste was handled by an NGO, Centre For Environment and Education (CEE). Garbage was collected from all houses every day for Rs 25 per month. “We used to work in all seven sectors. There were 26 persons looking into this — 22 for garbage collection, three for money and one supervisor. Workers used to get paid Rs 70 a day, and could sell whatever recyclable material they got. We encouraged segregation at source,” says CEE programme coordinator Shubhangi Wankhede.
Work began in 2002 with funding from the BDA. Later, the campaign did not receive support from the BBMP. The waste used to be sent to Karnataka Compost Development Corporation, but the unit closed down a year ago. So, the workers have been dumping wet waste in wastelands. Last Saturday, the BBMP announced it will take over garbageclearance work and street-sweeping here. CEE will terminate its activities from January 15.

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