Bengaluru: Heavy rain over the past few days has seen a familiar problem crop up dramatically: frothing in Varthur lake.
With increased inflow of water to the severely-polluted lake, foam at Varthur Kodi — at the busy intersection of Old Airport Road — spilt over to the road on Wednesday and Thursday. The foam continues to serve as a reminder of the unchecked pollution of Belandur and Varthur lakes.
Further upstream, frothing at Yemlur on the outlet of Belandur lake, has also increased. However, temporary relief is provided through a tall screen-covered fence.
The froth in Varthur has been seen before, and rather dramatically in April 2015, and was a common sight after every spell of heavy rain. This had prompted the BBMP to install sprinklers to douse the foam. However, over the days, the sprinklers have either broken down or been stolen.
“As an immediate solution, the lake should be desilted and the macrophytes (aquatic plants) removed,” said Elangovan Kulandaivelu, a member of the citizen action group, Whitefield Rising.
He also pressed for intensifying the drive to verify whether Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs), which is mandatory in apartments, are functional. Phosphates and detergents in sewage are blamed for the frothing.
Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) Chairperson Lakshman has instructed regional officers of the Board to inspect the area on Friday. He has also scheduled a meeting with the BBMP commissioner to find a solution. “As a short-term measure, we will ask them to introduce a slope at the outlet. The pollutants are churned leading to formation of froth because water drops at the weir,” he said.
He added that KSPCB continues to monitor STPs, and all 581 STPs commissioned across the city, including around Varthur and Belandur, will be completed soon. In the long term, officials hope that the STPs being constructed by the BWSSB to treat 1,450 MLD of waste water will be operation by 2019, and would solve much of the frothing problem.