A drive along the Kundalahalli lake, perched between multiple tech parks near Whitefield, may leave you wondering about the nearly 100 feet high “hillock” on the tankbed.
The “hillock” that has come up in the past year-and-a-half, is essentially construction debris illegally dumped on the tank-bed on a private plot of land. To this day, at least three to four trucks have been dumping construction debris on the plot, threatening the adjoining Kundalahalli lake, with extensive silting and encroachments.
Clement Jayakumar, a resident of the area, said that the dumpyard had not just threatened the lake but also caused serious issues for residents and commuters of the area.
“During rains it causes landslides, choking not just the lake, but also obstructing the traffic. Now that it is summer, it leads to a huge dust pollution in the area, taking the particulate matter concentration in the air, to unprecedented levels,” he said.
Activists from Whitefield Rising and others, who have now taken up the rejuvenation of the lake, have been fighting hard to get the civic agency to clear the plot of the debris and prevent further dumping.
This comes after the Whitefield Export Promotion Park Industrial Association (WEPPIA) and Whitefield Rising took up the issue with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in the past year in vain.
A Whitefield resident, Ashwani Singh, has also started an online petition on change.org, which has garnered nearly 400 signatories.
Arvind Keerthi, who is spearheading the setting-up of a 720-kilo litre Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) next to the lake, said that all efforts to rejuvenate the lake would go down the drain if the dump-yard is not removed immediately. “We have taken up the issue with the tahsildar and revenue officials as well, but to no avail. The officials are yet to clear encroachments of the lake and fence it,” he said.
Subodh Yadav, Special Commissioner, Solid Waste Management (SWM), BBMP, conceded that the site was illegal.
“Construction debris has to be dumped only in identified spots. However, it has come to our notice that many builders dump debris in empty plots nearby to save the transportation costs. A debris dump-yard next to a lake is unacceptable and suitable action will be taken,” he assured.
Diary of a lake
Size: 30.5 acres
Three inlets that see sewage flowing into lake
Tahsildar yet to clear encroachments and fence the lake
Rs. 1.2 crore, from a private company, being used to construct STP at one inlet
720-kilo litre STP expected to be completed within four months
Residents looking for donors for STPs for other lakes