KC Valley project: Kolar lakes get dirty, smelly water

Brownish-green foamy water flows in a canal that links Narasapura and Doddavallabi lakes in Kolar districts on Wednesday.

Water supplied to lakes in Kolar district under the KC Valley project is turning murkier by the day. 

On Wednesday, local farmers were stunned to see greenish-brown foamy water flowing into a canal that links Narasapura and Doddavallabi lakes, showing how the state government has goofed up a project whose chief aim is to bring relief to the perennially parched districts of Kolar and Chikkaballapur. 

Water from two of Bengaluru’s biggest lakes — Bellandur and Varthur in the Koramangala-Challaghatta (KC) Valley — is treated and supplied through pipelines to different waterbodies in the two districts. The government has built canals to supply water between lakes in the two districts. 

But the project has jeopardised the lives of farmers by supplying nothing but foul-smelling sewage water in the past few months. 

Murugesh, a local farmer, was on a routine visit to his farm when he noticed foamy sewage water flowing through a canal from Narasapura Lake.

“The water flowed for sometime in the morning but stopped in the afternoon. Its smell was so bad that no one could pass by the canal,” he said. 

This was not the first time the water turned murky, according to Murugesh. “Water flowing through the canal has never been clean. It always appeared brown or green. But today, it looked badly contaminated and had an overpowering stench.” 

Villagers have stopped using the water from Narasapura Lake or the borewells in the vicinity, and ensure that cattle do not consume it either. This came after the Narasapura gram panchayat issued a circular asking the public not to use it.  

G T Thimme Gowda, Executive Engineer, Minor Irrigation Department, Bengaluru, said the water had “turned dark” because the supply was stopped for a while owing to some repair. 

“The KPTCL (Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd) had switched off the power supply to a sewage treatment plant at Bellandur Lake on Tuesday, cutting off the water supply to lakes in Kolar. Besides, sewage water from Narasapura and other villages also flows into Narasapura Lake. Since the supply was stopped for a while and sewage from the village entered the lake, the water turned dark. Had there been a continuous supply, the water wouldn’t have been so contaminated,” he added. 

Prince Isac, an advocate and an activist, said the quantum of heavy metals in the water of Narasapura Lake had multiplied in the past few months, changing the colour of the water. “Since this water enters other lakes downstream, all water bodies are getting polluted,” he added. 

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