Hebbal lake, one of the three historic lakes created by Bengaluru founder Kempegowda I has literally turned into a watery grave. Hundreds of dead fishes were found in the lake and along the shore.
The incident has occurred barely two weeks after the fishkill incident at Ulsoor lake. According to locals, the number of fish deaths is in the hundreds and the dead fish have been surfacing in the lake for the past two days.
Environmentalist Vijay Nishanth, who visited the spot, said, “Most of the dead fish were cleared by Monday morning by the BBMP staff. However, I could still see a couple of them at the bottom of the lake and along the shore.” He said that sewage flow and low level of oxygen in the water body had led to the fishkill.
Ramprasad, lake activist and founder of Friends of Lake, said that sewage enters the lake directly from MS Palya, Thindlu, Sahakarnagar, Vidyaranyapura and surrounding localities.
One of the residents said that there is a sewage treatment plant (STP) inside the water body, but it is not working efficiently. “Had it been functional, the fish deaths would not have occurred,” the resident said.
Mohan Kumar, another resident, said that many people had been using the lake as a dumping yard and some even urinated there.
“The fence around the lake is not strong and is left open at a few places,” he added.
Lake Development Authority (LDA) officials, under whose ambit the lake falls, said that they had leased out the lake to East India Hotels Limited (EIHL) for a period of 15 years, for maintenance and the STP had been set up by them.
EIHL sources told Deccan Herald that there were no direct sewage inlets into the lake which could lead to water pollution.
“In order to maintain the quality of the water, regular cleaning is done as well as water quality checks are conducted. We also had the water quality checked by Fisheries Research and Information Centre (Inland) and their recent report states that the water body is having desirable oxygen concentration,” the sources said.