Fish found dead in Ulsoor lake, stench fills the air (Video)

Fish found dead in Ulsoor lake, stench fills the air (Video)

Fish found dead in Ulsoor lake, stench fills the air (Video)
Strong stench welcomed morning walkers at the Ulsoor lake on Monday. The malodour was of the fish that died in the lake since Sunday night and up to Monday morning.

The foul smell of the dead fish floating in the water body soon spread throughout Ulsoor area, much to the discomfort of the residents. The development did not come as a surprise though. The people say this was bound to happen, given the fact that sewage was entering the lake unchecked and that the civic agencies cared two hoots for it. Experts attributed the death of fish to the shortage of dissolved oxygen (DO) in the water body, due to its contamination.

The sudden death of fish on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday is a setback for efforts by some of the departments that projected the lake as a prime tourist destination of the future, especially with the proposal to create a floating restaurant there.  Conservationists point a finger at the officials concerned for not taking enough steps for the protection of the lake, spread over an area of 50 hectares.

“The water colour was changing and the stench was overpowering. It was brought to the notice of officials of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). But they did not care. The stench is so unbearable that it will take months for it to subside,” Maheshwar, a resident of Ulsoor, said.

However, the departments concerned have launched the clean-up act in the lake on a war-footing, so that there is no threat of outbreak of an epidemic.

Dr C S Ananth, assistant director (south) of the Fisheries department, said sewage was entering the lake from upstream channels. Local fish breed Punitius Ticto, besides Katla and Common Carp were among those found dead in the lake.

Officials of the BBMP, BWSSB and the KSPCB took stock of the situation in the afternoon.  KSPCB chairman Lakshman said there could be many causes for the death of fish in the lake. Water samples have been collected and a report on the exact cause will be released in 72 hours, Lakshman said.

Legal action will be taken against offenders. The pH level was checked on Monday morning and it was normal, at 7, he said.  “We have asked for copies of the agreement between the fisheries department and the contractors in charge of maintaining the lake. This is to know at what intervals the lake is cleaned and identify deviations, if any. It seems that the level of DO is less in the lake. Excessive fish breeding could be another reason,” Lakshman said. 

Over a year ago, civic agencies were instructed to construct sewage treatment plants (STPs) at Ulsoor lake and other lakes in the City. They were told to keep a check on them regularly, but that does not seem to have happened, the KSPCB chairman said.  A meeting with heads of all the departments will be held and their explanations will be recorded. No stone will be left unturned to resolve the crisis, he added.

Lakshman has issued directions to officers to check the water quality levels in all the lakes on a war-footing and prepare a report, in the wake of summer.  The High Court has taken note of the contaminated lakes and asked the KSPCB to submit a detailed report in this regard.

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