Set up team to survey Varthur lake: Upa Lokayukta to officials

Set up team to survey Varthur lake: Upa Lokayukta to officials

Upa Lokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi has directed the Deputy Director of Land Records and the Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru (Urban) to set up a team to survey Varthur lake.

Justice Adi visited the lake area on Saturday when residents and students of a nearby school filed a complaint that around 15 acres of the lake area had been encroached upon. Students of KK High School in Varthur submitted a study report on the quality of water taken from about 100 borewells in one km radius of the lake.

The students submitted that the borewell water was not suitable for human consumption. The water sample collected from the borewells were tested at the IISc laboratory. The analysis showed that the water had chloride, alkalinity and other contents more than the permissible level.

“There was a complaint by an organisation, Whitefield Rising, about contamination of the lake water and encroachment. The students’ complaint has also been taken, based on the report they submitted. It is a huge lake but poorly maintained. The polluted lake is the main reason for the contaminated water in borewells. The study found that sewage was directly released into the lake and the contamination level was so high that it was affecting the groundwater. The students told me that filthy foam generated from the lake splashes on the school vehicles every day,” Justice Adi said.

The students found that two borewells were the source of drinking water for almost 20 houses in the area and water from one borewell (within 0.5 km radius) was supplied to IT companies nearby. The students have informed the residents and commercial establishments not to use the water for drinking and cooking. The also visited five hospitals in the area and found that gastroenteritis, typhoid, dengue and skin diseases were common complaints.

Thomas Joseph of Whitefield Rising said no action was taken despite repeated petitions to the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA).

“Varthur lake is the second largest in the City. It is contaminated because of release of sewage and other pollutants. When we approached the BDA to fence the lake, so that it could be protected, the BDA pointed to the tahsildhar — for demarcating the boundary and the BWSSB to address the issue of release of sewage,” he said.

The Upa Lokayukta has posted the next hearing to April 6 and directed the Deputy Director of Land Records (DDLR) and the Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru (Urban) to be present in person with an action plan on survey.

“The lake is spread over 455 acres and the DDLR and tahsildhar sought six months to complete the survey. I have directed the officials to form a special team and complete the survey work within three months,” Justice Adi said.

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