As weeds, sewage choke 2 lakes, Palike plans a third

After failing to maintain old ones, BBMP to spend Rs 1 cr for a new lake

The Palike will spend an estimated Rs one crore to develop a lake near Happy Valley at Poorna Prajna Layout in the Uttarahalli corporation ward.

Corporator Ramesh Raju is quite enthusiastic about the project. “At a time when land sharks are grabbing civic amenities (CA) sites and lakes, we have taken an initiative to develop a new lake on a CA site,” said Raju.

The lake will come up on two acres. “The lake is being carved out of seven acres of a CA site. Surrounded by a tree park, it will be one of the most attractive lakes in the area,” said Raju.

Ironically, the ward has two lakes the Palike has turned a blind eye to, even after spending crores of rupees in the name of ‘lake rejuvenation’.

The Palike undertook rejuvenation of Dorekere three years ago following instructions from District In-charge Minister R Ashoka. The initial cost of the project was Rs 6.28 crore three years ago, of which Rs 4.25 crore have already been spent.

As per plan, the Palike was supposed to divert sewage flowing into the lake from a stormwater drain to a sewage treatment plant that was to be built on the tank bed. Chain-fencing the lake and developing a walkway, increasing greenery around the lake with native breed of trees and an immersion tank for Ganesha idols were also planned.

Despite spending crores of rupees, the inflow of sewage water could not be stopped. The Palike could partially divert one stormwater drain to the sewage treatment plant but it failed to stop other sewage water gushing into the lake.

De-silting the lake spending lakhs of rupees has not yielded the desired result as a thick layer of silt has again settled in the lake due to the inflow of sewage from other sides. The whole lakebed is full of weeds, including parthenium, and the walkway is used by slum-dwellers for answering the call of nature.

Another water body in the same ward is the Subramanyapura Lake, which too is a victim of the Palike’s apathy. Once known for its pristine water, the lake today stinks and is choked by water hyacinth, thanks to the encroachment of the stormwater drain by a builder who has let sewage from his multi-storey apartments in the vicinity directly into the lake. The water body has shrunk from 12 acres to six acres due to encroachment of its embankment.

A local resident Shankar Narayana says, “It’s a paradox that the Palike is developing a new lake, but is blind to the historic lakes on which it has already spent crores of rupees.”

Another resident of the area, Mahesh, was very critical about the way the lake rejuvenation programme is carried out.  “Development of lake is a kind of annual ritual where loopholes are intentionally left so that the same kind of work could be carried out again and again.”

A Palike engineer dealing with the lake development work said the Palike needed three months’ time to give a new look to Dorekere. “Wait till January and you will appreciate the work we have carried out,” said the engineer. He added that he would take up the rejuvenation of Subramanyapura Lake seriously.

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