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 Yettinahole diversion project.
Of the 24.01 tmcft of water that the government believes will come from the Rs. 13,000-crore project, around 2.5 tmcft will be stored in the Hesarghatta and T.G. Halli reservoirs, which are fed by the Arkavati.
With the project expected to be completed in two years, Bengaluru Development Minister K.J. George and M. Veerappa Moily, 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 dredging the lakes; removal of obstacles in the channels; laying of underground drainage pipes; and construction of sewage treatment plants (STP). The 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. STPs must be built so that the pumped water is not polluted,” Mr. George said, adding that the BWSSB would pay for the rejuvenation of lakes, which would 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 Arkavati.
within two years’
The Yettinahole project remains embroiled in controversies. Environmental activists have filed petitions against the project in the National Green Tribunal. People in Dakshina Kannada district are opposed to the project too. However, Mr. Moily expressed the confidence that the project would be executed in 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.