Thursday, April 29, 2010

Major Thrust To Revive Lakes In The City

Major Thrust To Revive Lakes In The City

Bangalore: Those who reside in new BDA layouts will have the good fortune of access to clean lakes. Unlike BBMP lakes which are contaminated and clogged with sewage water, the water in these new lakes will not be contaminated and there’s scope to improve biodiversity and aquatic life.
Chief minister B S Yeddyurappa on Wednesday inspected five such lakes being developed by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA). The BDA is developing 12 lakes and the Lake Development Authority is working on 25 others which will be transferred to BDA for rejuvenation and upkeep. The CM said four mini Lalbaghs would be developed in four corners of the city and four high-tech hospitals and parks have been planned. “About 136 kms of drains have been desilted completely and Rs 105 crore set aside in the state budget for lake rejuvenation,” he said.
A long convoy of cars and buses followed the CM on his inspection of Ullala, Mallathahally, Konasandra, Sompura and Hosakere lakes. Commissioners of BDA, BWSSB, BBMP, mayor and deputy mayor also accompanied him and this triggered bottlenecks at some junctions. Environmentalist and head of lake development advisory committee of BDA A N Yellappa Reddy briefed the CM on ongoing work.
At Ullala, residents of Visveswaraya Layout complained the layout was formed in 2003 but residents didn’t have water supply, streetlights, sanitation or garbage collection. They were eagerly awaiting completion of the lake so that the groundwater table would be recharged.
The Hosakere lake has recently been handed over to the BBMP. A large area was illegally encroached by residents but is gradually being recovered. “We have surveyed the area. After the detailed project report, we’ll hand over work to private agencies. The revenue department is currently tackling encroachments and 50 acres have been recovered,” said BBMP commissioner Bharat Lal Meena.
Bangalore Urban DC M K Ayyappa said about 600 small houses have to be removed from encroached areas. Hosakere lake is covered with weeds and there’s garbage all around and it’s a breeding ground for mosquitoes. “Residents would wash clothes here around two years ago. Now, it’s covered with weeds and the water is contaminated. It needs to be cleaned immediately,” said resident Manjunath B A.
BDA commissioner H Siddaiah said almost every BDA layout would have a water body. Eight lakes, where the project has started, will be completed by end-May, three by end-July and the others next year. “In these lakes, there is no sewage problem unlike lakes in the city which get discharge from drains. They need sewage treatment plants. We won’t lease them out to private parties,” he said.
The BDA consulted Central Ground Water Board experts on underground aquifers and they identified recharge points at every lake. These are fractures in hard rock from where water can seep in. “We have made adequate recharge structures with pebbles. etc,” Yellappa Reddy told TOI.
Every lake will also have activated carbon columns. When water passes through its pores, they trap all the heavy metals which contaminate the water.Wetlands have been created for bio-filtering at several spots. There will be alum columns to help reduce water turbidity. “These simple technologies are practised worldwide. Appropriate vegetation will be laid for rejuvenation of catchment areas,” he added. There’s a provisions for jetties, watchman’s room and parks and most lakes are being desilted.
The CM suggested the mayor’s office holds lake inspections on Sundays and talk to communities around them. The mayor said lakes which need rejuvenation have been identified. “While lakes like Yediyur and Ulsoor are being developed, many like Sarakki and Puttenahalli are yet to be developed. These need attention,” said Nataraj.


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