Thursday, October 30, 2008


Problem of plenty

It’s ironical that the southern pockets of Bangalore — often identified with the city’s IT and realty feel-good — house the worst-maintained expanses of one of the city’s biggest and oldest waterbodies, Bellandur lake. The flip side of development has cost the lake dear through increased inflow of drain water and rampant dumping of solid waste.
Areas like Koramangala and Madiwala, on the south-western edges of the lake, have emerged as testimonials to the south Bangalore urban sprawl, also hit by mass-scale encroachment of lake beds. Over the years, about six state bodies have exercised control over the lake in various capacities: Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), that
maintains storm water drains directed to the lake, Lake Development Authority, minor irrigation department, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and fisheries department. It’s a problem of plenty, coupled with the absence of an integrated approach to lake development, that has done the lake in, according to residents of the nearby villages.
“It’s one thing we have to be strict on people who dump domestic and other wastes into the lake. But it also beats us as on why there is inordinate delay in clearing the garbage, both in the lake and on the dry beds,’’ says Venkat Reddy, a resident of Bellandur village.
The development of the outer ring road that also accentuated the rise of IT and other business establishments along the road, has had a major impact on the largely unprotected lake, that once used to cater to the villagers’ water needs and was even a fishing hub. The water, now dark and ridden with everything from water hyacinth to polythene bags to hotel left-overs, is a sad departure from the old days.
“There is a continuing demand to increase the capacity of the sewerage treament plant in the area to do away with massive flooding of drain water into the lake. We are waiting,’’ says Balakrishna, a resident. The Koramangala and Challaghatta sewerage treatment plant has been running under capacity and Bellandur lake is learnt to have more than 100 MLD of untreated sewerage flowing into it.
A study conducted last year — by the energy and wetlands research group at the IISc — had underlined the perils of untreated sewage, solid waste disposal and encroachment of lake beds, exposing the lake to environmental stress.
Bellandur lake hit by increased drain flow, garbage dumping
ORR and subsequent realty boom accentuated it
No integrated approach, six agencies to oversee it
Increased STP capacity could help, say residents


At Sunday, June 28, 2009 at 10:01:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree... The Bellendur lake needs immediate attention. It is high time authorities take a step to clean and maintain the lake


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