Bangalore lakes still waiting for revival

City Environment

BBMP says condition of lakes will be better in the next three years and holds BWSSB responsible for disposal of sewage water in lakes.

Shubhangi Mathur

Despite the rejuvenation project started by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in 2017, the condition of lakes has not improved in Bangalore. BBMP officials say that the only reason for the failure of the project is because of the discharge of sewage water in lakes by Bangalore Water Supply and Sewage Board (BWSSB).

Mohan Joshi, Chief Engineer, BBMP (Lakes) said, “We have spent around Rs. 250- Rs. 300 crore in the rejuvenation of lakes in Bangalore since 2017. We have achieved success in reviving 75 lakes till now, 19 lakes are still in progress and 27 lakes are in the proposal.”

“The water of the lakes is not fit for drinking. The main reason for the poor condition of lakes in the city is because BWSSB discharge sewage in the lakes. They have their own limitation as there has been a sudden growth (population) in the city and therefore they are unable to treat sewage water properly. Now National Green Tribunal (NGT) is also monitoring the situation and in another three years BWSSB will stop releasing sewage in lakes,” he added.

The approved project in 2017 was proposed to perform various works like desilting of lakes, diversion of sewage water, construction of sewage treatment plants, silt trapping, and fencing. The project aimed at the revival of the lakes to combat the problem of water scarcity in the city.

“All the lakes do not come under BWSSB area. There were more than 100 lakes in the city, all of them could not have died because of sewage water. It is the responsibility of BBMP to look at the matter,” said a BWSSB official.

Parul Jindal, a resident of the city said, “I have been reading in the news that the government is taking measures to restore lakes in Bangalore but there has been no positive result. The government should take some strict action immediately before it is too late.”

Experts allege that BBMP has not been working up to the mark and shifting the problem to BWSSB is just an excuse. They also say that spreading public awareness is equally important and the government should work on that as well.

Dr. V Ramesh, HOD of Civil Department, Rajarajeshwari College of Engineering said, “There were more than 150 lakes in the city but now only a few are left. Many lakes are also being used for recreational activities like Ulsoor Lake, which is used for boating. Many households and apartments also discharge waste water into the lakes. This causes contamination of water, increases impurities and hardness of the water which makes it unfit for drinking or any other use.”

“The government bodies are failing in maintaining the quality of lakes. BBMP would blame BWSSB and BWSSB would blame BBMP which can continue for a long time. It is sad to see the conditions of our lakes,” he added.