Thursday, August 28, 2008

Debris chokes lakes, tanks

Debris chokes lakes, tanks

Article Rank

Bengaluru, that once boasted over 400 lakes, now has just 64. With rapid urbanisation and the real estate boom in the city in the past decade, lakes are dying a silent death. Environmental experts feel that lakes should be protected from both encroachment and pollution.

“Encroachment and polluting of water bodies is unpardonable crime. It has to be viewed critically and the guilty should be punished severely,” said noted environmentalist Mr Yellappa Reddy.

Indiscriminate dumping of debris in lakes has continued unabated across the city. Lakes have become dumping yards for builders and unscrupulous people, Mr Reddy said.

Due to the apathy of authorities, who pass on the buck, ground water has also been contaminated.

“Indiscriminate dumping of debris has been carried out wilfully with the malicious intention of encroaching upon lakes. Encroachment takes place inch by inch and the whole lake disappears,” Mr Reddy said.

Dumping in lakes and encroachment of water bodies is now an organised racket, and experts said discharge of industrial effluents and dumping of medical waste into lakes has also had a severe impact on the ecology.

Encroaching of lakes and catchment areas has led to low-lying areas being deluged in the rainy season.

“Deterioration of lake water quality, sedimentation, decrease flora and fauna, loss of aesthetics and decrease in tourism potential are all offshoots of the ravaging of the city’s lakes,” Mr Reddy said. “Dumping in lakes also increases breeding ground for mosquitoes.” An official at Karnataka State Pollution Board said, “Despite several steps taken to prevent dumping of debris in lakes, builders continue to do it without our knowledge.”


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