Bengaluru: Once a crucial water source for the city, the barren Hesarghatta reservoir may get a fresh lease of life. The State government hopes that the reservoir can hold water from the controversial Yettinahole diversion project.
Of the 24.01 TMC (thousand million cubic feet of water) that the government believes will come from the Rs. 13,000-crore project, around 2.5 TMC will be stored in the Hesarghatta and T.G. Halli reservoirs, which are fed by Arkavathy river.
With the project expected to be completed in two years, Bengaluru Development Minister K.J. George and M. Veerappa Moily, the area MP, visited Hesarghatta lake on Wednesday to provide impetus to efforts to rejuvenate the lakes.
Pumping of water from Hesarghatta was stopped in 1996 and from T.G. Halli in 2013 after the water was deemed too polluted for consumption.
As part of the rejuvenation efforts, a Detailed Project Report is going to be prepared for desilting the lakes, obstacles in the channels will be removed, underground drainage pipes will be laid and STPs will be built. Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) officials estimate that the work may cost Rs. 12 crore just for Hesarghatta lake.
“There is garbage in the lake bed. The mud has to be removed before water from Yettinahole can be stored here. Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) must be built so that the pumped water is not polluted,” said Mr. George, adding that the BWSSB will pay for rejuvenation of the lakes, which will serve as a crucial source of water for the State capital.
Based on a request by activist Mahesh Bhat, the Minister directed the BWSSB to ‘protect’ the tank by fencing the entire area. He told officials to clear debris and garbage from the area and plant saplings around the lake.
Apart from STPs in Hesarghatta town - whose sewage currently flows into Arkavathy and T.G. Halli, BWSSB officials have plans to build STPs in Peenya and Nelamangala, which contribute the bulk of the sewage flowing into the Arkavathy.
‘Yettinahole water within two years’
The Yettinahole project remains embroiled in controversies. Environment activists have filed petitions against the project in the National Green Tribunal (NGT). At the same time, people in Dakshina Kannada are opposed to the project. However, Chikkaballapur MP Veerappa Moily expressed confidence that the project will be executed within two years. “There is no stay from the court and work is on. Rs. 2,500 crore has been spent... There will always be protests for any development project,” he said.
Area: 1,224 acres
Storage capacity: 1.1 TMC
Current water storage: NIL
Storage capacity: 3.345 TMC
Designed to provide Bengaluru with 148 million litres of water daily
Average inflow reduced from 385MLD in 1975 to 65MLD post 2000
Sewage from Nelamangala, Peenya, Doddaballapur enters reservoir
Pumping stopped in 2013 after water was deemed too polluted
The Yettinahole project
Cost: Rs. 13,000 crore
Expected to provide 2.5 TMC to Arkavathy tanks
Storage: 0.7 TMC in Hesarghatta, 1.8 TMC in T.G. Halli