Bellandur villagers seek reprieve from lake-linked health hazards

Bellandur villagers seek reprieve from lake-linked health hazards

Pristine Bellandur lake with water fit even to drink. But that is a distant memory, cherished only by a few elderly residents of the village. Today, the residents want to be rescued from the severe health hazards posed by the alarming levels of pollutants in the lake.

Dengue and other diseases linked to the lake’s dreaded water have taken several lives over the years. People have died due to complications after repeated exposure to the gases coming out of the chemical-infested lake. For instance, Monil, who stays barely 100 metres away from the lake, lost his mother to lung infection followed by a multiple organ failure two years ago.

With a heavy heart, he recalls, “The incident happened all of a sudden. She could not breathe properly and was having cough along with cold for two days. When we took her to hospital, the doctors said that both her lungs were infected. Later she succumbed to multiple organ failure.” Monil and his wife themselves feel suffocated. He adds, “Respiratory aliments are common here. We are planning to move out from here soon.”

Monil sees desilting of the lake as the only solution to the problem. As a temporary measure, he recommends making a channel system to divert sewage water and closing down the inlets that let sewage water into the lake.

Another Bellandur village resident, Tulsi N, complains of frequent headaches despite closing the doors and windows all through the day. Besides, due to the infectants in the air, all silver articles at her house turn black every now and then.

“This is due to the air and water pollution. At night, we see industries releasing hazardous chemicals into the lake. Garbage dumping into the lake is also a common sight here.”

Residents say that four months back, two to three sprinklers were put up across the lake by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). But, this has not been of much help as the sprinklers are used only when the foam rises to a certain level.

Says Tulsi, “These sprinklers are functional for an hour every day. Also, the borewells are defunct with groundwater being contaminated. We depend on private tankers for drinking water.”

As if these issues are not tough enough, the residents have to battle the problem of improper garbage collection, mosquito menace and illegal stormwater drain connections.

“Earlier, we used to visit the lake to get a whiff of fresh air. Now we cannot stand there even for a minute because of the mosquitoes and the smell. All the houses in the area are using mosquito nets,” says Sandeep B J, another Bellandur resident.

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