Thursday, May 28, 2009

Government offers new lease of life for city lakes

Government offers new lease of life for city lakes

The state government has identified 100 lakes for rejuvenation in the city. The grand design behind the project is to restore ground water resources and meet the growing requirement for drinking water.
Bosky Khanna reports

Bosky Khanna

There is some oxygen coming in the way of city lakes. For years, city lakes have been treated as dumping yards. Encroachments and diversion of sewage almost choked them to death. Now the state government, led by Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, is giving these lakes a new lease of life, by reviving 100 of them.
On Wednesday, Yeddyurappa inaugurated work on 12 of these lakes. The grand design behind the project is to restore ground water resources and to meet the growing requirement for drinking water in the city.
The government has identified the lakes to be renovated based on the Lakshman Rao report. The revival of lakes will happen in three stages.
During the first stage 33 lakes will get the treatment. Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) is spearheading the project which has a budget of Rs104.61 crores.
Inaugurating the project, Yeddyurappa said: "The aim is to make Bangalore a world class city. Had the decision of reviving the lakes was taken by the previous governments, we would have to spend only Rs25 crore for maintenance. Now the government is spending Rs100 crore for rejuvenation."
Speaking on the occasion, Katta Subramanya Naidu, Minister for Excise, BWSSB, IT, BT and Information, said 33 lakes will be revived and developed by BDA and BBMP with a cost of Rs300 crores.
"Bangalore does not have adequate drinking water. Once we revive these lakes and improve the water quality, it would go a long way to meet the drinking water requirements. After the rejuvenation of lakes, we will ensure that sewage does not enter them. We will not allow any encroachment. In two years, all 378 lakes in the city will be restored," he added.
Shobha Karandlaje, Minister, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, said once the lakes are revived, it will put an end to flooding. The government is also planning to include lakes in revenue areas in the project.
The assigned agencies have been handed over the task of de-silting the lakes, development of water inlet and outlet channels, stone revetments on tank bunds, construction of wet lands, development of water sources, fencing of boundaries to avoid solid waste dumping and afforestation. The agencies will also construct walkways along the lakes and develop parks and gardens. They are also entrusted with the sanitation.
For Mallathahally Lake, BDA will construct a sewage treatment plant. In other lakes there will be separate areas for idol immersion. Improving the water quality will be a prime objective.
Landscaping and beautification of the lakes will take place through community participation. The agencies will have to complete the projects within 12 months, starting from May 27, 2009. Yeddyurappa added that he will visit the lakes with his family after a year, as committed by BDA.


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