Enormous benefits await water body's revival

It is ironical that Hussain Sagar lake in Hyderabad, spread across 1,100 acres attracts thousands of visitors daily, while another such waterbody in Bengaluru – Bellandur Lake – is struggling for its existence.

Hyderabad may not have a robust sewerage system such as Bengaluru. Yet, it managed to protect its biggest water tank from pollution and turned it into a big tourist destination. It will be interesting to assess what Bellandur lake will offer to the city once revived.

The chief executive officer of Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) G Vidyasagar says Bellandur lake has a plus point that it is connected to another waterbody, Varthur lake in its downstream.

“Both Varthur and Bellandur put together increase the size of water bodies to 1,400 acres, which is more than the size of Hussain Sagar,” says Vidyasagar.

In its report on Bellandur lake, the expert committee led by additional chief secretary in Urban Development Department Mahendra Jain has pointed out the prospects of a revived Bellandur lake.

The report says, “The lakes provide diverse ecosystem services – fishing, fodder, microclimate improvement, space for recreation, ground water recharge, aesthetic value, biodiversity, medicinal plants.”

It also pointed out that the treated water can be diverted to meet the irrigation demands in Kolar district.

Former BBMP commissioner Siddaiah says a revived lake will open a vista of opportunities for Bengaluru. Once revived, Bellandur lake will be a magnificent tourist destination. It will provide a rich bio-diversity in the region. Trees can be grown, walkways can be developed, he explains.

Siddaiah notes that the treated water filling Bellandur lake can quench the thirst of water-starved Kolar and Chikkaballapur districts.

Vidyasagar says the first effect will be on the water table. Fresh water into the lake after desilting will increase the water table.

“A revived Bellandur lake means lessening the demand for Cauvery fifth stage. We need to look into this aspect,” says Vidyasagar.

Besides, he says, the water requirement for the construction industry can be met if the lake comes to life once again.

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