Authorities wake-up! The lakes are waiting!

One of the major problems with Bangalore lakes is sewage inflow – either secretly or openly. The various citizen groups working to save their neighbourhood lakes have repeatedly approached BWSSB and KSPCB, the agencies in charge of handling Bangalore’s sewage and monitoring pollution, but if recent feedback is an indication, the agencies do not care.

Arakere Lake (in South Bangalore) rejuvenation work was started by BDA in Feb 2014 and supposed to be completed by Feb 2015. Arbind Gupta who is an active member of the Arekere Lake team ANIT says that while work is still in progress, no effort seems to have been made in stopping sewage inflow and removing encroachment. In spite of several complaints given by ANIT and others to BWSSB, discharge of sewage continues alongside the rejuvenation work which amounts to nothing more than moving soil around. The site engineer is only trying to bypass the sewage and he admits that it is not successful. It is clear that money for rejuvenation will be wasted.

Sewage inflow at Arekere Lake (Pic: Arbind Gupta)

Challakere Lake which is sitated in HRBR Layout 2nd Block, next to the ring road is of 38acres 5 guntas as per LDA records. Jude Rajesh Ferrao of the Citizen Welfare Association HRBR 2nd Block says that six years ago, the lake was a beautiful place to visit and stroll around, but today the foul smell emanating from the lake area attracts only vested interest groups. Some of the lake area has been turned into a dumping yard and a burial ground, and a major portion would now be mistaken for an exclusive sewage collection tank. Instead of stopping the sewage, there is a sign indicating a bioremediation solution – like putting band-aid on chicken pox. BWSSB, KSPCB, BBMP responses have either been totally absent or just wimpers. Despite the pollution, birds can still be seen and the citizens are now desperate to save the lake. Those who want to come out and help contact Jude <citizenwelfareassociationhrbr2@gmail.com> / 9845557844. 

Challakere Lake 

Sewage discharge clearly visible at Challakere Lake

A river of sewage flowing into Challakere Lake

Bioremediation – treatment for a terminal sewage inflow ailment? (Pics: Jude Rajesh Ferrao) 

At Puttenahalli Lake, Yelahanka, its been more than a year since the Yelahanka Puttenahalli Lake and Bird Conservation Trust (YPLBCT), with the intervention of the Upalokayukta, were assured of action to stop sewage entry into the lake. The trust, with the cooperation of several committed members, NGOs, colleges, and residents in the surrounding areas has been trying to get the relevant government authorities to visualise a mini “Rangantittu” right there. However, sewage inflow continues and now the trust is looking for constructive suggestions that will put the plan on fast forward mode, within a committed time frame. If you want to help, please contact Dr Sangunni <sangunni@gmail.com> / 9845063490. 

The stories are no different at other lakes all over the city. A group of students, along with the Whitefield Rising group are trying to stop sewage from seeping into Varthur LakeYelachenahalli Lake in Uttarahalli, also battling with sewage, now has a formal group to help save it. Residents of the area have formed the Yelachanahalli Neighbourhood Lakes Improvement Trust.

While it is heart-warming to see citizens, with their own professions/ jobs (that they so need to earn their bread and butter) coming together to save our commons, it is heart-breaking to see the administrative bodies, whose actual profession/ job it is (it gives them their bread and butter), to preserve these commons, and at the least, extend support to these willing citizens.

Authorites, wake-up! BWSSB, KSPCB, LDA, BBMP, BDA. The lakes are waiting!  

 

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