Rainwater saved Bellandur lake from complete ruin, say experts

Inflow of fresh water due to rains has rescued Bellandur lake from complete ruin, members of the panel appointed to study the lakes have said.

Talking to Deccan Herald on Friday, Dr DA Venkatesh and Dr Rinku Verma also said the government is doing precious little to rejuvenate the sprawling 910 acre waterbody.

The panel members also said the prognosis for the lake's health is very bleak until the government builds the sewage treatment plants (STPs), which, authorities assure, will be ready by the year 2020.

Dr Venkatesh and Dr Verma –respectively the retired IFS officer and Assistant Professor with the University of Agriculture Science- are part of the three-member Governing Council Committee appointed by Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) to examine the lakes.

The team –also made of retired IFS officer Yusuf Perodi- began their inspection of the cluster of lakes in Bellandur.

In the report at the end of the study –which it would submit to the government- the panel would provide inputs on the quality of water in the lakes, biodiversity, local and NGO involvement in the conservation efforts and the status of STPs.

The study would approach conservation of the lakes from the biological point of view and not from the perspective of the engineer.

On Friday, Dr Venkatesh and Dr Verma said the government and concerned departments are only taking short-term measures to please the court at the expense of the long-standing issues affecting the lakes ecology.

"Besides clearing the weeds, nothing has been done. We have seen a few aerators, but it will not be enough," Dr Venkatesh said, pointing out that the government is yet to implement the wetland treatment model crucial to the lake's sustenance.

Dr Verma wants to draw the government's attention to the inlet points to the Bellandur lake. Since frothing continues, the government must act quickly to stop Untreated sewage from entering the lake.

They also said the government should check the STP and outlet of polluted water from the industries and residential apartments.

"In Many cases, apartments and industries were unable to install STPs," they said.

They also believe imposing rules –which the government itself had failed to follow-, will not work. Instead, BWSSB and KSPCB should partner with the apartments and industries to help them ensure the lake is not ruined beyond repair, they said.

The panel has so far inspected Chinnapanahalli, Kundanahalli, Kaikindanahalli, Haralur, Siddapura, Panathur and Manekolla lakes under the Bellandur series. It has two more waterbodies to visit.

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