Dumping of mud around K'halli lake worries greens

Amidst fear of siltation, UoM claims garden will be developed

Dumping of mud around K'halli lake worries greens

Hundreds of tonnes of mud is being dumped around Kukkarahalli Lake in the University of Mysore premises, threatening the already fragile eco-system of the water body.

With continuous flow of sewage already destroying one part of the lake, environmentalists fear that the indiscriminate dumping in two locations around it would increase siltation.

However, UoM authorities say that after mud is dumped, the ground will be levelled and a garden will be developed in the area.

The mud, which is being excavated for the construction of Maharani’s College and Hostel, opposite Kukkarahalli Lake, is being dumped from the past four days, along Hunsur Road.

Mud has also been dumped opposite Srikantadatta Wadiyar cricket stadium of the varsity.
Prior to the dumping of mud near Kukkarahalli Lake, along Hunsur Road, vegetation in a patch of land was burnt.

However, varsity authorities said that the fire was accidental and crept inside the varsity compound, after unidentified persons set dry leaves on fire along the Road.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, environmentalist Vasanth Kumar Mysoremath, said that courts of the country had criticised such acts which shrink either the lake or catchment area around it.

During the rainy season, the loose mud dumped around the lake will make its way to the lake, thereby contributing to the declining area of the lake, he said.

“Somehow University of Mysore appears to be keen on taking up construction activities in the area. Or else, they wouldn’t allow activities that would damage the lake,” he said. Alleging that the whole incident was encroachment of lake area, he said that catchment area of the lake is being destroyed.

Saplings and small trees are being crushed due to the dumping, he said. He said that authorities should take cognisance of the issue and slap notices to the persons concerned.

Earlier, several trees were cut down for underground drainage works, despite opposition, he added.

M Lakshman, convenor of Association of Concerned and Informed Citizens of Mysore, said that given the fact that UoM is not planning to remove the mud ahead of the monsoons, it is more likely that the mud will cause siltation. “UoM should not have allowed the same,” he said.

Black Cotton Soil
He said that the mud which was excavated was black cotton soil, which was not fertile. Recalling that the State government had sanctioned funds for growing medicinal plants along the banks of the Lake near Hunsur Road, he said that the dumping had damaged those plants too.

“Dumping along the lake bed is as good as dumping mud into the Lake, as it will have the same effect,” he said.

When contacted, Mujavar S K, Assitant Horticulture Officer of University of Mysore, said that it was not mud that was being dumped, but “manure”.

“People who have taken up works of Maharani’s College, had approached us seeking permission to dump the fertile mud excavated from the construction site, which was approved,” he said.

On the fire incident, he blamed civic workers for setting fire to dry leaves along the Hunsur Road, which damaged vegetation inside the Lake premises.

“After the mud is set, there are plans to plant fruit trees in the area, which will improve the vegetation,” he added.

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