Rs 200 crore spent over 10 years, but city lakes still contaminated

Rs 200 crore spent over 10 years, but city lakes still contaminated

Ten years of restoration have made no difference to city lakes: they remain as contaminated today as they were when work began.

That's mainly because apartments continue to release sewage into them.

With 82 lakes under its care, the BBMP has spent Rs 200 crore on 60 lakes in the past decade. But to what end? All the money is going for a waste, civic experts say.

DH visited four prominent lakes, and found them facing the same problem: contamination from sewage.

Avalahalli lake, a mucky stream flows from the main road into it. Also, a path along the lake, meant only for pedestrians, is being used by vehicles.

The other lakes DH visited are in Dubasipalya and Madiwala. All four lakes have been de-silted and fenced, explaining part of the expenditure.

"But the water from these lakes can't be used for drinking even after conventional treatment," lake conservationist
V Ramprasad told DH.

T Jagannatha Rao, BBMP's deputy conservator of forests, said fencing and de-silting had been part of the restoration, carried out on the 60 lakes.

Water from lakes classified as 'C' by the State Pollution Control Board can be used for drinking, but no lake falls in that category, according to a report prepared by the Environmental Management and Policy Research Institute, Bengaluru. Environmentalist
Dr A N Yellappa Reddy said restoration should not be taken up without sewage treatment plants being commissioned in the vicinity.

"Sewage water should be diverted to the wetlands and technology adopted to process it," he said.

Seema Garg, CEO, Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority, admits sewage inflow is ruining restoration efforts.

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