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Garbage and sewage choke Sarakki Lake

Apartment complexes around Sarakki Lake contribute to the eyesore.

By Anjala Farahath

Bengaluru September 8, 2016: In a span of two months, 30 cases of dengue have been reported from Jarganhalli Ward.  Residents wake up to the rotting smell of garbage and the overflowing drains adjacent to Sarakki (Jarganhalli) Lake, on Puttenahalli Road, JP Nagar.

The residents complain the garbage is not cleared regularly and people from other areas dump their trash around the lake. This dumping has affected the health of most residents, who have become accustomed to viral fever and stomach infections.

Due to contaminated water, and constant exposure to the garbage dump the health of children and adults is affected. Dr. Shivanand, who runs a clinic in Jaraganahalli said, “Infected water and garbage is the primary reason for frequent illness of people in the vicinity of Sarakki Lake. The overflowing sewage water triggers stomach infection and viral fever. On a daily average, seven to eight patients show symptoms of viral fever and viral gastroenteritis. Thirty cases of dengue in past two months have been recorded as a result of mosquito breeding.”

BBMP has failed to manage the garbage clearance in Jaraganahalli. Narayanswamy, a flower merchant and resident in Jaraganahalli said, “The auto which arrives to collect the waste once in two days is usually full, and does not clear the dump. Everyone in the family is frequently ill with fever or stomach infection.” The Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) water from the neighboring locality and apartments is also let into the lake.

The irregular garbage collection by the BBMP pourakarmikas has resulted in open disposal of waste by the people in Sarakki Lake. Sarfaraz Khan, BBMP Joint Commissioner (SWM and health) said the garbage dump on Sarakki Lake is consequential of a few irresponsible apartment complexes and people. “Forty percent of garbage that is dumped, is the bulk-generated waste which usually comes from apartments. BBMP has a list of empanelled vendors who collect the garbage for disposal at specific points. To escape fee payment (that varies from Rs. 300-400 a month, for each flat) to empanelled vendors, the garbage is given away to other sources who ultimately dump it near lakes or open sites,” he added.

Dr. Priyanka Jamwal, Fellow at Centre for Environment and Development ATREE said, “The lakes in Bangalore are contaminated because of the raw sewage that’s allowed to flow into the lakes. This is due to lack of sewage treatment plants. This infrastructure is necessary because the population is increasing. Karnataka State Pollution Control Board in 2006, issued guidelines o residential apartments with 50 units and above, or having a built-up area of 5,000 square meters and above to set up STPs and ETPs (Effluent treatment plants). Since some apartments are not abiding by the law, the loss of lakes persists.”

Lake Development Authority Executive Engineer, Honnaiah explained that the ownership of Sarakki Lake was recently transferred from BDA to BBMP and the development project is yet to commence. The detailed project report (DPR) cost for Sarakki Lake development stands at Rs 17,30,00,000.

Shobha Munirao, the ward councilor said, “The development of the lake is under BBMP now. However, BBMP hasn't given any quotation on how it intends to develop and restore the lake. It is not clear if fencing will be done first or the dump yard will be cleaned. A sum of Rs.6 Crores is sanctioned and they are most likely to start the project next month onwards.


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