Hundreds of dead fish cleared from Kukkarahalli Lake
UoM VC blames MCC's 'delay' in diverting sewage for the fish kill
Varsity authorities on Monday, continued to fish out hundreds of dead fish, which have been accumulating near the banks of Kukkarahalli Lake. The dead fish are being spotted on the banks of the Lake since Saturday.
While the number of dead fish found at the banks were relatively less on Saturday, their numbers grew on Sunday and Monday. According to varsity authorities, around 500-1,000 medium sized fish were found dead since Saturday.
K M Jayaramaiah of Kukkarahalli Lake Protection Committee, said the death of the fish was due to microcystin, chemicals produced by blue-green algae, which are toxic to the fish. “Increase in microcystin levels reduces the dissolved oxygen content in the water, causing the death of fish,” he said.
Blaming the continuous flow of sewage into the iconic Lake for the fish kill, he said that more than one MLD (Million Litres per Day) of sewage was being discharged from Paduvarahalli side, into the lake. “This discharge is rich in phosphate, a chemical which increases the production of microcystis in the Lake,” he said.
Even though birds avoid spots where dissolved oxygen levels are lower, especially at the banks, they too are at risk due to these toxins. Bird numbers generally increase during the months of November and December at the Lake, he added.
Mujavar S K, Assistant Horticulture Officer of the varsity, said that they have been removing dead fish from the past few days and attributed the kill to a “depletion in oxygen levels”.
During a meeting held here on Monday, Vice Chancellor of the varsity, K S Rangappa held Mysore City Corporation (MCC) responsible for the fish kill. “Even though there has been a proposal to divert sewage for years, works have only been taken up recently. Yet, works are not progressing well,” he said.
It can be recalled that works for the diversion of sewage from Kukkarahalli and Karanji lakes were taken up earlier this year, at an estimated cost of Rs 5.03 crore. Of the amount, Rs two crore was sanctioned for the diversion of sewage from the Lake to Rayanakere sewage treatment plant. The works were scheduled to be completed by December.
According to Executive Engineer of UGD section, D L Raju, MCC has written to the government, seeking permission for traffic diversion. However, the government is yet to give permission for the same, he said, adding that there have been several road blocks for the completion of the works.
Raju said that works requires diversion of traffic along the Hunsur road, one of the busiest roads in the city. Currently, works on the UGD line has been taken up near Ramanna Circle. UGD pipes have been stocked along the projected path of the line. The works will be completed soon, he said.
One of the measures proposed for rejuvenating the Lake, apart from diverting sewage, is the revival of canals, which feeds rainwater into the Lake. According to M Lakshman of Association of Concerned and Informed Citizens of Mysore (ACICM), 9A, 9B and 9C canals, which fed water into the Lake has been encroached, stifling the flow into the same. “The district administration and local urban bodies should take measures to clear the encroachment, and initiate measures to revive the lake,” he said.
No ‘Pay and Walk’ proposal before UoM
Following opposition by residents over the proposed collection of monthly fees from regular strollers at Kukkarahalli lake, Vice Chancellor of University of Mysore, K S Rangappa said that there was no such proposal before the varsity. Rangappa said that the protests staged against him and the varsity in this regard, was “instigated” by a section of media. “A few media organisations announced that the varsity would levy entry fees for strollers, without seeking any clarification from varsity authorities. This resulted in protests being staged against the varsity,” he said.
Speaking at a meeting with representatives of various associations of Mysore on Monday, he said that despite rumours of ‘Pay and Walk’, there was no such proposal before the varsity to introduce a fee. “If at all it is decided to collect fees in the future, the money collected will go towards the maintenance of the park,” he said.
He said that statues of Sir M Visvesvaraya and Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar would come up in front of Crawford Hall, ahead of the centenary celebrations of the varsity.
The height of Wadiyar’s statue would be larger than that of Visvesvaraya’s, he said.
There was a heated exchange of words between K S Rangappa, Vice Chancellor of University of Mysore and historian P V Nanjaraje Urs, at the formers office, here on Monday.
During the start of a meeting regarding the controversial ‘Pay and Walk’ proposal, Rangappa questioned whether Urs was a part of a delegation of organisations. Urs replied that he had come to offer suggestions regarding the ‘Pay and Walk’ scheme, as it was a public meeting.
Decibel levels in the VC’s chamber rose several notches after the initial exchange, after which Urs left the meeting. Rangappa calmed down only after lashing a tirade against a section of media.