Better days ahead for two polluted lakes in KR Puram

Better days ahead for two polluted lakes in KR Puram

Benniganahalli and Bhattahalli lakes will see better days as the BBMP is removing silt from them. DH PHOTOS/Srikanta Sharma R

Contaminated by sewage and garbage, Benniganahalli Lake is seeing a revival. The BBMP has been removing silt from the 15-acre waterbody located on Old Madras Road near the KR Puram flyover in eastern Bengaluru. 

Local residents had for long complained about a foul smell emanating from the lake. Sewage from polluted stormwater drains and garbage from commercial establishments regularly flowed into the waterbody. 

In 2003, citizen volunteers had partnered with the BBMP to rejuvenate the lake but it fell on hard times six years later as government bodies neglected it. Asha Kumari, a resident of KR Puram, said no government body — BBMP, Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) or Horticulture Department — took responsibility for maintaining the lake. 

Frustrated by government inaction, residents took it upon themselves to remove garbage from the lake and plant saplings around it this year. The BBMP woke up from the slumber and started removing silt from the lake a few months ago. 

Jagannatha Rao T, Deputy Conservator of Forests, BBMP, said fully desilting the lake would cost up to Rs 3 crore. "Now that rainfall has stopped, the pace of desilting has quickened. We are carrying out the work only at night so as not to disrupt traffic during the day," he added. "We laid out sewage pipelines and diverted the sewage away from the lake. The work will take another month." 

Bhattarahalli Lake, not far away from Benniganahalli Lake, is also being desilted. "We have just begun the work at Bhattarahalli Lake. We are yet to lay out sewage pipelines to divert sewage away from the lake," another BBMP official said. 

The revival of Kalkere, Rampura and Hulimavu lakes — all in the KR Puram zone — is also on the cards.