Hyacinth, weeds flourish in Ele Mallappa Shetty lake

Apartments let untreated sewage into water body, say locals

Hyacinth, weeds flourish in Ele Mallappa Shetty lake

Above the thick layer of sewage deposit, water hyacinth and other weeds flourish all over the Ele Mallappa Shetty Lake between Medahalli and Avalahalli on Old Madras Road in the City.

Like many other fast disappearing water bodies in the erstwhile “City of 1000 lakes”, this lake in 300 acres is on the death row.

Once a delight for the nature lovers being a hub of a variety of birds, this water body is struggling for its existence, courtesy the multi-storey apartments in its watershed
region, which have not only choked its stormwater drains completely but are letting
untreated sewage directly into it.

Says Eshwarappa Madivali of People's Campaign for Right to Water (PCRW), a non-government organisation, “This is one of the highly contaminated lakes due to the heavy influx of sewage. Builders and developers are letting untreated water directly into the lake without any remorse.”

If this is not enough, garbage and debris contractors have found this suitable to dump waste material into it. As a result of it, the expanse of the lake is shrinking with each passing day.

Manjula, a local resident, complained that she had repeatedly complained to various authorities but nothing fruitful emerged. “We had even tried to bring to the notice of some local news channels but they have not sensed the significance of this lake,” she says. Rajanna of Avalahalli rued that fishkill is a common feature of this lake due to the high water contamination.

“We used to buy fish grown in this lake but today even eating this fish is an invitation to dangerous diseases as they too are contaminated. We have stopped buying fish grown here. This fish goes to other markets in Bengaluru, which risks lives of many people,” said Rajanna.

He added that his family had fields right below the lake. Watching the flocks of birds was a delight once upon a time. He added that many birdwatchers used to visit the place on weekends but today that is missing.

He blamed factories, apartments and layouts for the pathetic state of the lake.
The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike is the custodian of the lake but it has done little to protect it from sewage influx.

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