EC allows fishing in KK lake without violating poll code

EC allows fishing in KK lake without violating poll code

Election Commission has advised to continue with the existing tender of Kukkrahalli Lake through e-procurement portal. DH file photo

After hundreds of aquatic animals, including fish and pelicans died at Kukkrahalli Lake, the office of the Karnataka Chief Election Commission has suggested the Deputy Commissioner, also District Election Officer, to allow fishing, without violating the election Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

In a communication from the office of the Chief Election Commissioner, it has been advised to continue with the existing tender through e-procurement portal. The commission has also asked the authorities concerned to get approval from the screening committee, headed by Chief Secretary if there is no provision to continue with the existing contract.

At present, the Karnataka State Co-operative Fisheries Federation (KCFF) has the right for fishing, but, due to certain issues between the University of Mysore (UoM), which maintains the lake, and the federation, fishing has been stopped from the last few months. So the fish population has increased. The varsity authorities were claiming that new tenders cannot be floated as the MCC is in place.

Hundreds of fish and a few pelicans died in the lake of late and morning strollers have been complaining of foul smell emanating from the lake. Environmentalists claim that polluted water, overpopulation of fish and extreme summer is resulting in the deaths.

Water pollution

The death of fish and birds in the lake have been reported from the last four months. While four birds were found dead in February, one bird was found dead in April. More than 1,000 fish were found dead and the main reason behind is water pollution.

According to K M Jayaramaiah, member of Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority, fishing was not taken up in the lake for the last nine months and thus, fish population has increased.

Following a series of protests, the district administration had formed channels to avoid the flow of sewage water and rainwater entering the lake. But due to summer, the water level is declining and even sewage water is entering the lake through the underground system.

Wastewater enters lake

Wastewater from cow sheds and houses of Paduvarahalli flows through open drains and collects in shallow places at the junction of Hunsur Road and north bund of the lake. The polluted water is entering the lake through drains located at the north bund. This polluted water is killing the fish by reducing the oxygen level in the lake water, says Jayaramaiah.

Jayaramaiah said, “The lake, which was developed in 1881, is filled with silt and the district administration had come forward to desilt the lake. But, a few people had opposed the de-silting process and thus, the works had to be stopped. Due to the silt, the water holding capacity has been declining.

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