Tuesday, September 07, 2010

BDA’s ‘dirty’ alternative to fill lakes

BDA’s ‘dirty’ alternative to fill lakes
Commissioner moots filling up of rejuvenated lakes with treated sewage water before CM can be invited for their inauguration
Niranjan.Kaggere @timesgroup.com

WITH the monsoon coming to a close, the Bangalore Development Authority has come up with a ‘novel idea’ for refilling the 13 lakes that it has rejuvenated. It involves filling them up with ‘sewage water’.
The BDA, which took up lakes’ rejuvenation work at a cost of Rs 100 crore, plans to refill them with treated sewage water as the rainfall has been inadequate and the authority began cleaning up works three months late.
Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa had kicked off the rejuvenation work on Ullal lake, one of the lakes selected for the clean-up operation, on May 27, 2009. During inauguration, he had said, “I assure you that by end of 12 months, I will be back to inaugurate the lake for public use.”
The BDA is trying hard to refill the lakes before Yeddyurappa can be invited for the inauguration. Hence, it is looking at Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) for help (refilling the lakes).
Though a few lakes have received good spells of rains, the water has not been enough to fill them. When asked about the mammoth task of refilling the tanks in view of the monsoon coming to a close, BDA Commissioner Bharat Lal Meena said, “If we don’t get sufficient rains, we can get it from BWSSB. There’s a lot of sewerage and it can be treated and released into these tanks. We are in talks with the BWSSB and hopeful of getting sufficient amount of water.”
The BDA is yet to complete the rejuvenation work. Ninety per cent of the work has been completed, while some minor works - fencing, laying of pavements for walkers and planting of saplings - still remain. Meena says these would be completed at the earliest. Water-logging was common in the city during rains. But the BDA promises that it would not happen again. “One of the reasons for not getting sufficient water in these lakes is because many areas become waterlogged during the rains. We are studying the pattern of water flow and trying to make sure the water collected in the catchment areas reach the lakes. The task will be outsourced to an independent agency,” said Meena.
After the rejuvenation, the BDA has to hand over the lakes to the BBMP for maintenance. However, the handover is unlikely to happen for the next one year. “We cannot tell when we will hand over these lakes to the BBMP. We scaled down some of the ornamental works, thinking that it could be taken up at a later stage. Within a year, we will complete that and till then, we will maintain the tanks. But we will discuss this matter with the BBMP,” he said.
The commissioner also said the locals and villagers will be included in committees for the safe management of lakes.
The BDA has been entrusted with the task of rejuvenating another 29 lakes. A decision in this regard was taken by the BBMP officials in May-June this year. “Though an official government order is yet to come, we will be taking up the survey work to prepare a detailed project report. If all goes well, in the next three months, we will commence work on all the 29 lakes,” said a top official of the Bangalore Development Authority.


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