Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Link the lakes through channels, say experts

Link the lakes through channels, say experts

Bosky Khanna



Even as the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) looks satisfied with its efforts to rejuvenate 12 lakes, experts are critical of the programme. They say the ideal way to go about the task is to enhance the connectivity to the lakes, as it was done earlier.
The BDA dried up the lakes completely to clear the silt. Ring tank bunds were created around to give them a distinctive shape. Though the depth increased, the size of lakes shrank. Encroachments were cleared in all BDA lakes, while wetlands and water inlets had been channelled. What remained now, according to BDA officials, is fencing, afforestation, water to fill in, construction of boat jetties and construction of sewerage treatment plants in Kommaghatta and Malathahalli.
But experts suggested creation of treatment plants in all the lakes. The flow of water should be well directed, keeping in mind the upstream and downstream, they felt.
Hasiru Usiru member Rohan D'Souza was dissatisfied by the way Rachenahalli lake structure was designed. "The idea of feeding other water bodies by channelling the overflow has not been looked into," lamented D'Souza.
"Here the BDA has completely dried up the lake. This hampered the biodiversity and also had a cascading effect," said D'Souza.
"The BDA should ensure that the plants in the wetlands are cut once in three months so that the quality of water remains good. Charcoal and carbon notches should also be maintained periodically," said Prof Sriram, who has been guiding BDA on lake rejuvenation.
Environmentalist AN Yellappa Reddy said proper infiltration should be ensured to increase the underground water table.
He added that it would take at least one or two years to restore the required dynamics of the lakes. Biodiversity elements are already being incorporated with the introduction of guppies, weeds and sediments.

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