Some residents of Balpaguri near Kavoor lake allege that stagnation of dirty water had given scope for breeding of mosquitoes. According to them, mosquito menace is severe in evenings. They said water stagnates because sewage from upper reaches of Bondel and Kavoor joins the lake at Balpaguri.
Some residents said if more sluice gates were opened, water from the lake would drain out and it would not stagnate at Balpaguri. The Department of Minor Irrigation installing sluice gates without removing silt in the lake first had resulted in water stagnation, allege residents.
However, an engineer of the Department of Minor Irrigation which maintained the lake, said the city corporation should build a storm-water drain at Balpaguri to divert sewage from Bondel and Kavoor entering the lake. The engineer said till a year ago, the lake was empty during this season as its sluice gates were not proper. After the sluice gates were re-stored last year, the lake got filled up and sewage from upper reaches of Balpaguri stagnated there. As the lake supplied water to 15 to 20 acres of agriculture land if more gates were opened its beneficiaries would not have water. “I am down with cough and recurring fever since a month. Mosquito menace is severe in evenings,” said U.K. Pillai, a resident who blamed water stagnation for it. “If steps are not taken immediately to prevent stagnation of water, it may result in outbreak of malaria,” said Mr. Pillai.
Another resident Vaman Bhandary said Mangalore City Corporation often asked people to ensure that water did not stagnate in tyres, coconut shells, broken plastic buckets and on the premises of houses. But its officials were not bothered to solve the problem at Balpaguri.
Mr. Pillai attributed the stagnation of water at Balpaguri to the Department of Minor Irrigation building a culvert with sluice gates to the lake without removing silt. The Government had sanctioned Rs. 20 lakh to the department last year for removing silt. But it had not been done, he alleged.
S.T. Gowda, Assistant Engineer, Department of Minor Irrigation, said the department had sought Rs. 1.50 crore for the rejuvenation of the lake. But the Government had sanctioned only Rs. 20 lakh last year. Of it, Rs. 14 lakh had been spent on building a culvert on its bank to enable people to reach Balpaguri from Mangalore-Kavoor Road, installing sluice gates and on building retaining walls for the gate and culvert. The balance amount was not enough for removing silt.
Mr. Gowda said the sluice gates had been re-stored to the original level. Its height had not been increased.