The areas near Hulimavu lake near Bannerghatta road — once a quiet locality outside Bengaluru city — is now a prime location for real estate. This has led to the lake, spread around 120 acres, and its vicinity becoming a dumping ground for waste.
“There is garbage just behind a temple located near the lake. People from apartments nearby dump the garbage. A few builders in this area also dump tonnes of construction waste,” said Srinivasiah, a resident of Hulimavu.
Another resident, Muniswamy Gowda, who has been staying near the lake for the past four decades, said the lake is fenced only in certain places and every open patch has become a black spot. “In one stretch, PoP Ganesha idols have been dumped. As a result, brightly painted figures stick out incongruously from the water,” he added.
It is not just the case of Hulimavu lake, most of the water bodies outside the ambit of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike(BBMP) limits have been turned into garbage grounds, environmental activists and locals say.
The lake bunds turning into dumping yards have given rise to ecological concerns. V. Ramprasad from Friends of Lakes said, “Dumping waste in the lake has become a widespread practice in the city. Despite several complaints being given to the civic body, the officials are not acting against it or working towards putting an end to such menace.”
“The waste dumped in the lake causes several problems; plastic waste dumped in the lake will be a serious threat to aquatic life in the lake, while the birds living near the lake consume such plastic materials causing asphyxiation,” he added.
According to activists, dumping garbage and construction waste is seen commonly in most of the lakes on the outskirts.
On the other hand, the BBMP, which did not share any data regarding the most affected lakes in the city, said they have put up fences around the lake so that people will not go inside the lake to dump garbage.
The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has been suggesting various measures to prevent lakes from turning into garbage dumping yards. KSPCB has been firm in its direction to the BBMP not to set up any garbage collection points near lakes, which will later become blackspots.
“We have asked BBMP to ensure no garbage is dumped in the area. We have suggested the installation of CCTVs and fencing of the lake. These steps, perhaps, could control the dumping of garbage and construction waste near the lake,” a senior pollution control board official said.
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