The water body today is nothing more than a sump

Two years ago, the Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) promised to renovate Gujjarakere Lake in Jeppu, complete with a jogging track with inter-locking tiles, steps, seating arrangements on all sides, and diversion of sewage joining it.

However, when The Hindu did a reality check on the eve of World Environment Day, the lake was full of water hyacinth, with neighbours complaining that all the money spent on it has gone down the drain. Seating arrangements and jogging track were nowhere in sight. The lake has turned out to be a dump yard, multiple drainage connections lead to it and a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Two years ago, about Rs. 2 crore was sanctioned for the modernisation and protection of this rectangular lake, said Nemu Kottary, secretary of Gujjarakere Theertha Samrakshana Vedike. Today, to approach the tank one has to cross bushes, weeds and heaps of dumped mud. So much so that some people unhesitatingly find it a fit place to ease themselves.

“The construction is not well planned. The amount of money spent on this lake has gone waste,” says Bharath Suvarna, a resident of Monkey Stand. He said this was once a holy place; today drainage water from nearby buildings ended here.

While Devadas, another local resident, pointed out that the recently constructed steps leading to the lake had cracks, Mr. Kottary said a part of it had collapsed.

He said the condition of the lake had been shown to the Corporation’s Commissioner, who has since been transferred.

Another resident said, “There was a huge tree in the middle of the lake with birds of all kinds nesting on it. The tree has been removed.

G.V. Rajasekhar, Executive Engineer of the Corporation, said: “Almost Rs. 1.5 crore was spent on the compound wall and the steps. Initially, there was a plan to construct jogging track with inter-locking tiles, diversion of UGD under separate fund of Rs. 30 lakh. Work on diverting drainage was stopped because of election code of conduct.”