It will take six months to complete the rejuvenation process.
Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has begun rejuvenation work on Kengeri lake with a sanction of Rs four crore. The lake’s restoration is expected to be completed within six months.
Kengeri Lake known as Doddakere Lake spreads across 32 acres of land along the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway. Over the years the lake has been moved between several authorities, with no sign of progress in development. The last development of the lake was done by the Forest Department in 2005. Later it was handed over to the Bangalore Developing Authority (BDA) in 2006, who then transferred the lake to Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) in 2012. In 2020, BMRCL handed over responsibility to BBMP.
A BBMP official from the lake department said that they got control of the lake in 2020, but the previous authorities (BMRCL) who were in-charge of the did not do any rejuvenation work for the Kengeri Lake. She added that three tenders were floated by BMRCL but failed to attract any bidders.
BMRCL was supposed to rejuvenate the lake under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). A report mentioned that the managing director of BMRCL said that the issue was the lack of funds.
In May 2022, the BBMP put out tenders and called in bidders for the beautification of the lake. It was covered with a vast spread of weeds, and water hyacinths and later became a dumping yard. At present, there is no semblance of a waterbody at Kengeri Lake.
A contractor in-charge of the lake work said, “It has been one month since the work started. Sewage and wastewater are being directly discharged here from the surrounding areas and it has four inlets; drainage pipelines are being laid down for that.” He added that the water body can only be filled with rainwater after the rejuvenation of the surroundings of the lake. There are plans to construct some stormwater inlets that will allow water to flow into the lake.
The lake will be dewatered and desilted at an estimated cost of Rs 72 lakh, and the main bund of the lake is estimated to cost around Rs 39 lakh. Additional pipelines and three silt traps will be laid down, a footbridge will be constructed across the lake and the pathways around the lake will be improved.
Dipti M, a daily metro commuter said that many people did not know about Kengeri lake until the revival work for the lake started. “The lake became a place for bus and auto drivers to answer nature’s call and was used as a dumping space by small hoteliers who park their food stalls near the lake,” she added.
As per Karnataka State Pollution Control Board 2020 report, Kengeri Lake is categorized under criteria D with an unsatisfactory water quality index.
Sridhar, an environmentalist said, “This shows the lack of concern from the authorities as well as the people. Development activities in and around the lake have affected both the quality and quantity of the lake to decline.” He added that the presence of faecal coliform bacteria in the water body changes water quality and decreases the content of dissolved oxygen in the lake. This has led to the decline of aquatic life. He also said that Kengeri Lake is the result of eutrophication. This occurs when the water of the lake becomes enriched with an excess amount of nutrients which leads to the growth of algal blooms in the waterbody.