Parties make pledges to improve water quality and prevent pollution, but activists stress need for scientific development and implementation.
Political parties are directing their focus towards addressing different concerns in their manifestos, with an emphasis on improving the state of lakes in the state as one of the key priorities. Every party has pledged to enhance the condition of lakes in the city in its manifesto.
MG Mahesh, spokesperson of BJP said that the BJP has committed to revitalising lakes and enhancing the water quality in existing lakes. “We have also promised to place an integrated water management system that makes good use of river water and harvests rainwater.”
He added that they have previously renovated several lakes in the city and they will continue to work towards improving water quality.
Thippeswami, Janta Dal (Secular) (JDS) spokesperson said, “We will disconnect all sewers that are connected to the lakesand only allow the flow of rain water in the lakes. We will also remove all the encroachment.”
He added that they will also allot Rs. 10,000 crore to the corporations to take care of all the water bodies in the state.
Thippeswami further said that all the lakes in Karnataka will be restored and revitalised according to a comprehensive plan that will be developed by the JD(S) political party. To stop lake pollution, they have also promised to put in place an efficient waste management system.
Congress has pledged a “Lake Development Authority” to prioritise the preservation and protection of lakes. Devendra Rao, senior spokesperson of Congress said, “We have a full fledged plan, we have promised to provide funding for the restoration of polluted lakes and to ensure all lakes in Karnataka are legally protected.”
Santhosh KC, Government adviser and lake activist said, “Giving the lake manifesto is fine, but they should focus more on the development of lakes scientifically. Till now government is not focusing on scientific development of lakes.”
The quantity of highly polluted lakes in the city has been increasing, recently. The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has released a water quality report for 106 lakes in Bengaluru, which indicates that the water quality of all 106 lakes examined by the board is unsatisfactory.
Lake pollution in Bengaluru is a longstanding issue, with many lakes being subject to sewage and industrial waste disposal, as well as littering and encroachment. This has resulted in the deterioration of water quality, with many lakes becoming highly polluted and posing a significant risk to human health and the environment.
Santhosh added that the government should have a proper plan to improve the quality of lakes and water.
Ram Prasad, a lake activist, said that the condition of lakes in Karnataka is currently poor. But it is a positive development that political parties are acknowledging this issue in their manifestos. However, the main challenge would be to ensure that the promises made in these manifestos are actually implemented after the parties come to power.
“There is a need for the new government to focus on restoring the lakes, preserving the environment, and addressing pollution in order to prevent an environmental crisis,” he added.