Dorekere lake wantonly polluted, say workers

Covered in rashes all over his body, Narayanappa resembles a man recovering from burns. He developed the rashes following de-weeding work at Dorekere lake in ttarahalli.

This despite having applied mixture of pongamia and neem oil to protect himself from leeches infesting the highly contaminated lake. “The oil mixture lasts only for an hour but burns my skin. Once the oil layer is gone, leeches cling to my skin and suck my blood,” says Narayanappa.

One among a dozen labourers from Mandya assigned the task to de-weed the lake, Narayanappa has been into de-weeding water bodies for many years. It takes a month to clean a water body.

The Palike carried out its rejuvenation spending Rs 5 crore, by diverting all sewage pouring into the lake to a tertiary-level sewage treatment plant (STP), to pump in fully treated water into the lake. However, the mechanism is such that following heavy rains, excess water flowing through the storm water drain gushes into the lake polluting it and leading to the growth of water hyacinth.

However, according to those working at the lake, the STP operator releases untreated water into it during night. BBMP Chief Engineer (Lakes) B V Sathish, is aware of it, but quips: “You are the second person to tell me that untreated water from STP is let into the lake. I will check it out.”

Even as he wonders why would anyone pollute the lake, the labourers allege that with the water hyacinth spreading rapidly, it takes about three months to de-weed it. So the work would take six months, fetching the contractor not less than Rs 27 lakh.

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