South Bengaluru residents resent entry of sewage into lakes and the lack of amenities

Issues faced by people frequenting Chunchaghatta, Doddakallasandra, Dorekere and Kothnur lakes came up in a survey conducted by Action Aid

November 14, 2023 04:27 pm | Updated 04:27 pm IST - Bengaluru

A file photo of Kothnur lake in Bengaluru. 

A file photo of Kothnur lake in Bengaluru.  | Photo Credit: MURALI KUMAR K

In a survey conducted by Action Aid, an NGO, among people who engaged with lakes in some form, residents of South Bengaluru said challenges include unsafe walking paths during monsoon, plastic and garbage menace, stray dogs and cattle on the walkway, and water quality deterioration due to mixing of untreated water with the lake water.  

The survey was conducted over a period of one week in October among 394 persons who engaged in some way with Chunchaghatta, Doddakallasandra, Dorekere and Kothnur lakes. Around 83% of the respondents would frequent lakes while 43% lived in close proximity to a lake. 

Sewage issue

Majority of the respondents complained of stinking smell emanating from the wetland and the larger lakes. More than 80 users of Doddakallasandra lake reported this issue. The corresponding figures for the other lakes were Dorekere — 47, Kothnur — 18, and Chunchaghatta — 10. 

The smell was the outcome of entry of sewage into the lakes.  

People also reported unhygienic environment due to lack of maintenance of amenities, including toilets, and lack of garbage collection and disposal facilities near the lakes. 

Walkway problems

A report by Action Aid following the survey noted that a common challenge expressed by respondents among all the four lakes was using the walking during monsoon. The respondents found the walking paths unsafe for senior citizens and children in particular.  

Senior citizens cited encounters with stray dogs and cattle on the walking path as a major problem. 

A small number of respondents also reported problems with the lake fencing, lack of rain shelters, broken benches, inadequate lighting in few stretches, especially near Dorekere lake, ban on using camera, and allowing cyclists around the lakes. 

Demands to local authorities

A large number of respondents want the local government to fix amenities around the lakes, mainly walking paths and the toilets, and also improve facilities such as gym, park, shelter and seating.  

A majority of the respondents from Kothnur and Chunchaghatta, and a large number of people from Dorekere and Doddakkallasandra want the authorities concerned to improve the quality of water in the lakes and address the entry of sewage into lakes. 

Other demands included the installation of dust bins, information boards and sewage treatment plants, banning fishing licences, increased security and vegetation, and extended periods of usage of lakes. Respondents also suggested harvesting the plants in the wetlands and lakes at regular intervals to maintain water quality. 

The NGO plans to submit the report to BBMP Chief Commissioner and Chief Engineer (Lakes).

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