Corporation urged to make lake water potable

Restoration work of Gujjarkere taken up by Mangaluru Smart City Limited is in the final stages in Mangaluru.  

While activists fighting for the restoration of the old waterbody Gujjarakere at Jeppu in the city are happy over the recent progress made in restoration project, they are demanding that the Mangaluru City Corporation work towards making the water potable.

“We are happy that our two-decade fight for restoration of the lake has yielded fruits and the lake is regaining lost glory. But the real thing that is needed is to make the water potable which, in turn, will help restart the annual ritual of immersing the idols of Mangaladevi and Mariyamma deities in this waterbody,” said Nemu Kottary, convener of Gujjarakere Theerta Samrakshna Samiti, which has been fighting for restoration of the lake since 2001.

In 2007, the then district in-charge Minister Krishna J. Palemar initiated the work of building embankment around the lake after clearing debris dumped in the waterbody.

This did not help improve the condition of the lake and waste water continued to accumulate. The work of realigning drainage network taken up in 2011 did not help too. So too the work of restoring the lake taken up in 2015. It was in 2016 that the work of laying new sewer network was taken up between Morgan’s Gate and Leewell areas. And, Mangaluru Smart City Limited (MSCL) took up restoration work at a cost of ₹4 crore in February last year.

As part of restoration, hyacinth in the lake has been removed and the lake bed has been dredged for about 2 m.

The lake embankment has been constructed and railings have been laid. A new concrete road is being laid around the lake. Work on walking track and landscaping are on now.

Mr. Kottary said that the problem of sewage leaking into the lake still remains. “We have noticed leakage of sewage from the manhole at the junction of Gujjarakere Main Road and the new concrete road off the lake bund. We have brought this to notice of Mayor Premanand Shetty and MSCL officials,” he said.

Shravan Shetty, another member of the samiti, said that the new concrete road on the lake bund is too wide. Such a wide road, which enables movement of heavy vehicles, will have negative impact on the lake, he said.

Mr. Shetty said that officials should plant more saplings on the lake bund and make this old waterbody, a model natural lake.

Ruling out leakage of sewage into the lake, Mr. Shetty said that the accumulation of waste over a long period has affected the quality of water.

“We will have an oxidation plant at the lake, which will greatly improve the water quality. MSCL is developing the lake as a model waterbody of the city,” he added.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 3:13:03 PM |

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