Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Concern over layouts coming up near lakes

Concern over layouts coming up near lakes

The Hindu

There are chances of sewage from sites getting into lakes, says an expert

BANGALORE: The formation of Arkavathy Layout is causing jitters for environmentalists in the city. Most are concerned about whether the lakes, especially the Jakkur Lake, will be able to survive the influx from 20,000 sites.

S. Sridhar of the Institute for Natural Resources Conservation, Education, Research and Training says that there are chances of sewage from the sites getting into the lakes. "If there is habitation so close to water bodies, there is bound to be some seepage of sewer," he says.

A part of Arkavathy Layout is being developed in the catchment area of Jakur Lake, which is spread over 76.14 acres. The lakes of Jakkur, Amrutahalli and Rachenahalli are part of the layout. At one point, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) notified the conversion of lakes but environmentalists and officials of the Lake Development Authority shot down the proposal. Mr. Sridhar says Jakkur Lake has become polluted with the construction that has come up in the area. Given the large number of people who are going to live in the area, Mr. Sridhar estimates that at least 100 litres of water per day per site will be required. "The BDA will have to alter the flow of the Cauvery to bring water to these people. That move itself will have some repercussions."

A.N. Yellappa Reddy, former Special Secretary (Environment), says storm water drainage and sewage because of the incline of the land will naturally flow from the sites in the layout to the lakes. He suggests that the BDA develop a policy for sewage treatment and ensure that all site owners follow it. Even industries in the area need to install sewage treatment plants, he adds.

Officials of the Lake Development Authority are also worried about the construction of the layout so close to the lake. However, they say that they do not have any authority over sites being developed in catchment areas. "We have authority over the water body but not the catchment areas," says an official.

Officials of the BDA say they are taking precautions to ensure that the lakes do not get polluted. The draft Master Plan, the officials add, focuses on preserving the lakes. The Comprehensive Development Plan mentions that a buffer of 30 metres will be maintained from the lakes while developing sites.


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