scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Lakes of Bengaluru: BBMP’s apathy drowns efforts to revitalise Doddakallasandra lake

Spread across 21.16 acres, the Doddakallasandra lake located off Kanakapura Road is a prime example of cosmetic measures carried out by the civic agency in the name of rejuvenation.

Written by Aksheev Thakur | Bengaluru |
Updated: February 13, 2022 11:02:33 am
Spread across 21.16 acres, the Doddakallasandra lake located off Kanakapura Road is a prime example of cosmetic measures carried out by the civic agency in the name of rejuvenation. (Express photo by Jithendra M)

In 2020, a report by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) stated that of the 45 lakes restored by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), 15 had “poor water quality” and in 24 it was “very poor”. Spread across 21.16 acres, the Doddakallasandra lake located off Kanakapura Road is a prime example of cosmetic measures carried out by the civic agency in the name of rejuvenation.

As per the 2019 Biodiversity Report of the lake prepared by the NGO ActionAid Association, the Doddakallasandra lake hosts 354 trees of 42 species, 43 species of plants and shrubs, 37 butterfly species and 71 bird species, including 11 migratory ones. Two of these birds – the oriental darter and the black-headed ibis – are listed as Near Threatened species as per the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

As per the 2019 Biodiversity Report of the lake prepared by the NGO ActionAid Association, the Doddakallasandra lake hosts 354 trees of 42 species, 43 species of plants and shrubs, 37 butterfly species and 71 bird species, including 11 migratory ones. (Express photo by Jithendra M)

In July 2020, the BBMP initiated the rejuvenation of the water body after incessant follow-ups by the citizens’ group Doddakallasandra Lake Protection Committee (DLPC). The local residents have, however, pointed out that the civic body ignored the suggestions of the Justice N K Patil committee on lake management.

According to lake conservationist Raghavendra B Pachhapur, ActionAid had conducted a lake bed assessment report and submitted it to the BBMP. “The report suggested that the lake bed is more or less evenly desilted across and needs to be heightened at the foreshore which went unheard. Justice NK Patil committee recommends that the foreshore should start with one feet of water and deepen further as the lakebed moves towards the bund region. Seventy per cent of the biodiversity exists in these shallow waters, which convert itself to wet soil and marshy land as water reduces during the year, and have different vegetations which attract different birds. In spite of our knowledge and efforts, we could not succeed with the BBMP,” he said.

Best of Express Premium
BJP and Shiv Sena allies might not go after Uddhav factionPremium
In Maharashtra political drama, cameo by a 30-year-old from Haryana makes...Premium
C Raja Mohan writes: With China’s expanding influence, Asia is also...Premium
BJP’s Pasmanda Muslims outreach plan after PM message a new worry f...Premium
In July 2020, the BBMP initiated the rejuvenation of the water body after incessant follow-ups by the citizens’ group Doddakallasandra Lake Protection Committee (DLPC). (Express photo by Jithendra M)

Pachhapur pointed out that in order to harness rainwater, the BBMP came up with a design and constructed two catch drains connecting to the water body, but two more are still due for reasons unknown. “Harnessing rainwater helps reduce the burden of sewage, increases BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) levels and raises the dissolved oxygen levels that support life. Ward-level BBMP officers have been helpful to a very small extent and we expect them to speed up the work and support us in harnessing rainwater from around the area of the lake,” he added.

K V Manjunath Reddy, president of Narayananagar Residents’ Welfare Association, said that though Rs 5 crore was allotted for the rejuvenation of the lake, the work carried out was shoddy.

The local residents have, however, pointed out that the civic body ignored the suggestions of the Justice N K Patil committee on lake management. (Express photo by Jithendra M)

“Sewage still enters the lake and the water quality is very poor. We wanted the BBMP to install a sewage treatment plant (STP). This proposal from our side was considered initially but it did not happen. A housing complex adjoining the lake discharges untreated water into the lake, polluting it. Though this has been brought to the notice of the agencies, no action has been taken. Moreover, certain portions of the lake have not been fenced properly,” he stated.

Pachhapur explained that stray dogs also pose a threat. “At present, many stray dogs move around the lake area at any given point of time and threaten the bird species. Doddakallasandra is now a hotspot for many water birds, and species like the Eurasian coot and grey-headed swamphen breed in the lake, so stray dogs are a new area of concern.”

Two of the birds found in the lake – the oriental darter and the black-headed ibis – are listed as Near Threatened species as per the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN). (Express photo by Jithendra M)

Reiterating the points raised by local residents, DLPC member Soundarajan Rajagopalan said that the BBMP has failed to address the issue of sewage entering the lake.

BBMP officials, meanwhile, did not respond to calls.

Express Explained Go beyond the news. Understand the headlines with our Explained stories

📣 Join our Telegram channel (The Indian Express) for the latest news and updates

For all the latest Bangalore News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement