Residents spend a sleepless night as water brings muck
The bund of Arakere lake, spread across 36 acres, near Bannerghatta Road, gave way in Bangalore on Monday, flooding more than 150 houses in the adjoining Vysya Bank Colony and plunging its hapless residents into distress.
The breach, reported at 11.30 p.m. on the eastern side of the lake, brought the lake water mixed with sewage gushing onto the four streets of the colony before making its way into the houses. The water, which rose up to knee-level, damaged not only furniture but also laptops and television sets, according to the residents, who went without sleep the whole night.
The water, which brought roadside waste into houses, seeped into the storage sumps, compounding the misery of the residents.
Raghunath B.S., who lives in a single-storey building, was asleep when the water entered his house. “My furniture was spoilt and I could not sleep the whole night and spent Tuesday cleaning the house,” he said.
The BBMP officials, who were alerted by the residents, said that they arrived to the spot on Monday night and began the cleaning process immediately. However, the streets remained flooded on Tuesday morning. Only by afternoon was the cleaning process completed.
The residents expressed anger against the authorities concerned for “not building a stable bund”.
“This is the third time in the last few months that the lake has breached. Every time it happens, the lake water brings sewage and leaves a stink,” Mithun, one of the residents, said.
Another resident E.S. Swamy, who lives close to the bund, said that sewage was flowing continuously around the bund over the past few days which ultimately led to the breach. The last time when the bund gave way, the authorities had merely put sandbags to prevent water from gushing out, he said.
MLA Satish Reddy said that funds allotted for strengthening the bund were insufficient.
However, a resident said that there was no possibility of the bund breaking open due to the force of water as it did not rain in the area over the past week. “It may be deliberate as areas around the lake have been encroached upon and the draining of the water in the lake can be part of a plan to encroach upon the lake area also,” another resident suspected.
The lake, which was handed over to the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) in April 2012, is in a pathetic condition with sewage water entering it.
Residents said that garment factories around the lake were illegally letting sewage into the lake.
An official from the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board refuted this and said that there were no discharges from the factories. However, a storm-water drain joins the lake, he added.
Asked about the future course of action, he said that the board would call for a comprehensive effort from various departments. He said that a underground drainage facility should be created.
A BDA official said that they have been waiting for approval of a Rs. 8-crore plan from the Lake Development Authority for developing the lake.