Monday, September 20, 2004

Lake turns into dumping yard

Lake turns into dumping yard

The Hindu

Residents of Sri Raja Rajeshwari Colony in Ward No 3 of the Mahadevapura City Municipal Council are a worried lot. The sprawling Mahadevapura Lake adjoining the colony has turned into a dumping yard for the garbage generated in the city. Residents get to see waste from industries and hotels, and even animal carcasses, on the road along the lake where they used to walk and jog earlier.

After making repeated pleas to the Municipal Commissioner, Chikkavenkatappa, to intervene and stop the dumping, the residents have started monitoring the movement of trucks that come to the area. They, in fact, take turns to note down numbers of the vehicles that dump garbage there and have learnt that trucks hired by the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike's private garbage contractors frequent the area.

"At times, miscreants burn the garbage and carcasses and the resultant smoke cause breathing problems in us. All our efforts to green the layout have gone waste. We are pained to see the lake turning into a dumping yard," the colony's Residents' Welfare Association president, S. Ramesh, said.

Contaminated water

A unit of the mini water scheme that supplies borewell water to the residents is close to the lake. As garbage and industrial waste seep into the ground, the ground water is polluted and people are forced to use the contaminated water, Mr. Ramesh has said.

"The area has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and flies. We not only have breathing problems but also skin diseases and stomach upsets. We completely depend on borewell water as the municipal councils have not yet been given Cauvery water supply," the association's general secretary, O.S. Dasan, said.

Others, including Ravi Singh and S.K. Raju, feel they have committed a mistake by constructing houses in the area. "We have retired from our jobs and thought we can lead a peaceful life in this area. But it has become a nightmare to live here," Mr. Raju said.

That's not all. The Municipal President, Nagarathnamma Pillappa, and the area councillor, Leelavathi Subbaraju, do not seem to be worried about the residents' plight at all. According to the residents, the authorities have expressed helplessness in resolving the issue.


However, when, at a recent meeting with the Director of Municipal Administration, Nilay Mithesh, the residents complained about the illegal garbage dumping, Mr. Mithesh reportedly assured them of getting it stopped.

"Everything was okay till 2001, when the Outer Ring Road connecting Krishnarajapuram and Marathahalli came up. While we are still waiting for the authorities to provide the promised access roads to the Ring Road, even the existing `kuchha' roads have become unusable," Mr. Ravi Singh said.

Two years ago, the Lokayukta detected financial irregularities of over Rs. 85 lakhs in the Krishnarajapuram and Mahadevapura city municipal councils. The residents said the un-tarred roads and the lack of streetlights and a proper garbage disposal system stand testimony to the misuse of funds.

"We have also complained to the Lake Development Authority and only hope they will intervene to save the lake," the residents added.


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