Proof of toxicity in the air: Blackened metal sculptures

Proof of toxicity in the air: Blackened metal sculptures

Silver puja articles, huge brass bells along with crowns used to deck the idols inside the Sri Sankastahara Bhakta Balamuri, Ganapathi  and Sri Venkateshwara Swamy temple in Bellandur village has turned black with green patches all across. The culprit: the air polluted by the vast expanse of the lake nearby.

The temple with single stone carved structures and architecture bearing the Chola style was opened on February 1, 2015. It was built with the funds pooled in by  locals with the support of former Bellandur gram panchayat president K Jagannath and other like-minded volunteers.

However, little did they know that the place of worship would soon succumb to pollution and harsh chemicals spewing ouf the lake. 

The temple priests here say that every 15 days, they have to wash all the puja articles and silverware to remove the dark hue and pollutants gathered on them.

“It takes three to four hours to clean them and it does not wash off easily with water. We have to use a specific soap powder. Thankfully, the temple pillars and a few structures within are coated with lacquer so that their colours don’t fade for at least three to four years,” explains a priest, Ram Kumar S.

Despite this apparent signs of pollution and the stench that hangs in the air, devotees throng the place. But residents in the vicinity have no choice as their homes located close to the polluted waterbody bear the brunt. One of the residents, Tulsi N says that since her house is barely a few meters from the lake, the household and puja articles turn black within two days.

Another resident, Ramesh Shivaram points out that the evaporation from lake has corrosive nature and the air is toxic. “I have been staying here for the past many years. While earlier there were trees, now there is hardly any greenery. Along with us, even trees and animals are facing the pollution threat,” he adds.

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