Rain puts the brakes on rejuvenation of lakes

A view of Kaggadasapura lake in Bengaluru on May 20.

A view of Kaggadasapura lake in Bengaluru on May 20. | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

The rainfall in the last few weeks, which wreaked havoc in many parts of the city, has also put the brakes on the rejuvenation of Bellandur and Varthur lakes among others. Desilting will have to be stopped for at least three months now as lakes are getting filled up again. This, accompanied with slush around the lake, will make it difficult for vehicles used for desilting to reach the lakes, said civic officials. 

While Bellandur and Varthur lakes are being rejuvenated by the Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA), a few others — such as the upstream Kaggadasapura lake — are being done by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

The residents are getting tired of the wait for the process to be completed. “In our review before the rains, we had seen that one third of the Bellandur lake was being desilted. They had gone up to ten feet in depth and had removed silt. They wanted to complete at least half of the lake before the monsoon. Now with these rains, we are losing time. We have been waiting for years for the process to be finished”, said Sonali Singh, a resident and activist from Bellandur.

At Varthur lake, around 70% of desilting work was completed, according to residents and officials. “There has not been much progress for almost a month. The desilting process was close to completion. But now, the lake is flooded again and causing problems to the nearby roads”, said Jagadish Reddy Nagappa, a resident of Varthur.

“The lake work is totally hampered. We are not aware when they will start the desilting process. A lot of work is still pending here. We are suffering from water crisis and heavily dependent on water tankers. We are hoping that once the lake is restored, at least ground water level will rise up”, said Rasmita Jena of Kaggadasapura lake forum.

Aravind, Assistant Engineer, BDA, admitted that post monsoon, they have to wait for at least a month before they can start the desilting process again. “While we had dewatered the lakes and started the process, now we should empty it again once the rain stops completely. This, however, does not mean we should start from scratch. The process will start from wherever it has stopped now,” he maintained.

Around 30 lakes in the city are currently being rejuvenated by BBMP in the city, out of which 15 are undeveloped. “But only a few lakes are being desilted. Even there, we will continue work like bund formation and other concrete work. Only silt removal has to be done later”, said Vijaykumar Haridas, Chief Engineer, Lake Division, BBMP.

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Printable version | May 21, 2022 9:16:07 pm |