Sunday, February 07, 2010

New lease of life for Bellandur Lake

New lease of life for Bellandur Lake
G Manjusainath, Bangalore, DH News Service:

The sea of filth could soon turn into a beautiful lake, if the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) project to give a facelift to the City’s biggest water body, the Bellandur Lake, gets the government’s nod.

Spread over 900 acres, the Bellandur Lake is many times bigger than any other lake in the City. While many big lakes have been encroached upon, a vast portion of this lake remains free from encroachment barring 18 acres, where an illegal settlement has come up in the recent years.

Ironically, what appears to be a bane has turned into an advantage for this lake. The unbearable stench caused by the sewage let off into this lake from all directions, has kept the land sharks at bay. Once beautiful, the Bellandur Lake stinks so badly that life is miserable for people living in the vicinity including the residents of Koramangala, one of the posh areas of the City.

Now that the government has taken up the City Lakes Rejuvenation Programme on priority basis, the revival project of this lake got a fillip.

The biggest challenge however, is the inflow of sewage. According to BBMP officials, this lake receives around 400 to 500 million litres of sewage everyday and cleaning and diverting the sewage inflow could be a Herculean task.

“The government has asked us to prepare an action plan for saving the lake. Accordingly, we have prepared a plan, which will be sent to the government for its approval,” said a senior BBMP official.

According to the plan, two 66-ft wide drains would be bulit on the north and south side of the lake to divert the sewage coming from Ulsoor Lake side, KR Market side, Agaram and Madiwala Tank. These drains will run around the bund of the lake and will have outlets at Yamalur village and Bellandur village. But the water will go through a filtering process, comprising silt trap, barrier screen, constructed wetland spread in 2,72,000 square metres and aeration, before being drained out. The filtering materials will include gravels, vegetation to take the Nitrogen Phosphorus and a polishing pond to cleanse the water.

During rainy season, the filteration process will not be carried out because of heavy inflow. “We want to develop it as a model lake in the City, which will be fenced. It will have a garden in the bund area. Besides, people living in the nearby villages will finally be rid of the foul smell,” said the officer

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