Panel divided over revival of Bellandur lake

Panel divided over revival of Bellandur lake

Disagreement over desilting lake; no consensus on method to be adopted also

Panel divided over revival of Bellandur lake

Members of the lake expert committee are divided on desilting Bellandur lake. While some members and government officials say desilting of the lake is required, others think it is a futile exercise.

P N Nayak, engineer member of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), said desilting the lake was needed and would be undertaken after weed was cleared and aeration was completed.

Siddaiah, former BDA commissioner and committee member, said the lake needed desilting and for this, it would have to be drained of all the water. But before that, the government had to identify what would be done with the accumulated silt, whether to send it to brick factories, cement industries or create manure out of it.

A study conducted by Prof T V Ramachandra from Energy and Wetlands Research Group, IISc, last year on Bellandur and Varthur lakes showed that the silt in both the lakes was over 7.6 million cubic metres.
Ramachandra, also a member of the committee, said the depth of the lake was not more than two metres as it was desilted 50 years ago.

He, however, says there is no need to dry up the lake to desilt it. “It can be done through wet-dredging technology (where silt is sucked out). Desilting will increase the water-holding capacity of the lake,” he said.

G Vidyasagar, chief executive officer, Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA), also said the wet-dredging method was more suitable.

However, Sharachchandra Lele, committee member and senior fellow at Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, said desilting would be a futile exercise.

“Silt is nothing but untreated organic matter. The government should permanently stop sewage from entering the lake. After nitrates and phosphates are removed, untreated organic matter will be cleaned up naturally,” he said.

Prof Ramaprasad, chief of technical committee, KLCDA, and committee member, said desilting of Bellandur lake was not necessary.