No end to fight against sewage in Puttenahalli lake

Karnataka : Bengaluru : 05/06/2017 Series of manholes in lake Rd of puttenahalli lake, Yelahanka in Bengaluru

Karnataka : Bengaluru : 05/06/2017 Series of manholes in lake Rd of puttenahalli lake, Yelahanka in Bengaluru   | Photo Credit: Handout E Mail

Authorities recently laid underground drainage lines, but one runs through the lake bed

The battle of the residents living around Puttenahalli lake in Yelahanka, the only bird conservation reserve, against pollution of the water body by untreated sewage seems to be never ending.

After years of doing the rounds of Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) requesting not to let untreated sewage into the lake, authorities recently laid underground drainage (UGD) lines in the surrounding Attur area. But the UGD line leading to the non-functional Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) nearby runs through the lake bed, again raising fears of pollution.

While the line is closely aligned with the inlet drain into the lake, it takes a diversion after the inlet point towards the STP, which is at the other end of the lake bed, traversing through the lake bed. “There are manholes right at the mouth of the storm water drain inlet into the lake apart from at least four manholes in the tank bed,” pointed out K.S. Sangunni, chairman, Yelahanka Puttenahalli Lake and Bird Conservation Trust (YPLBCT), a retired professor of Indian Institute of Science.

He added that the Trust had suggested alternate alignments for the UGD lines. “It’s a marvel how they laid a sewage line within the lake. Linking the sewage pipe to the manhole is not a sustainable solution,” he said.

Another office-bearer of the Trust said that there are instances of the manholes clogging leading to untreated sewage overflowing into the lake. The place where the series of manholes are located has loose soil, making them prone to more leakage, he said. The lake presently resembles a cesspool of sewage, even as the Forest Department, which is the custodian, talks of rejuvenation.

Dipika Bajpai, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Bengaluru (Urban), said that the department had already raised the issue of the manholes with the BWSSB. “We will soon take up rejuvenation of the lake before which we will build diversion channels for sewage. Once diversion channels are ready, the series of manholes will be made defunct by the BWSSB,” she said.

Meanwhile, efforts continue to install a 10 Million Litre per Day (MLD) capacity STP next to the lake. The existing 10 MLD STP, which was installed by the Karnataka Housing Board many decades ago, has not been operational for over a decade now. It is being used as a pumping station (capacity: 1MLD). Sources said that the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the STP is ready, but the State government is yet to allocate funds.

Puttenahalli Lake, Yelahanka

Area: 29 acres 14 guntas

Custodian: Karnataka Forest Department

Declared as Bird Conservation Reserve in 2014 under Wildlife Protection Act

Only such reserve in Bengaluru

Experts have identified 49 species of birds in the lake

It is a hotspot for migratory birds

Forest Department to rejuvenate the lake

Estimated cost: ₹12 crore

Lake to have bird observatory towers, trekking paths

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 10:05:55 PM |

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