Varthur lake to be rejuvenated at an estimated cost of ₹119 crore

The BDA has been pulled up by the National Green Tribunal time and again for failing to rejuvenate the lake.   | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K.

After Bellandur lake, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has finally called for tenders for the rejuvenation and development of the downstream Varthur lake at an estimated cost of ₹119 crore.

According to BDA officials, rejuvenation of the lake will be taken up in two phases. In the first phase, the lake would be desilted. In the second phase, the bund of the lake will be strengthened, a wet land will be formed, an idol-immersion tank will be constructed, lights and CCTVs will be installed. “A park and an amphitheatre are also planned. Everything will be done keeping ecology, flora and fauna in mind,” the official said.

Senior officials of the BDA said the work is expected to be completed in 18 months, excluding the monsoon; and the rejuvenation is expected to done within 22 months.

Speaking to The Hindu, K. Mahadevegowda of BDA said they were following the NGT committee orders. “As per the NGT committee directions, we have already started draining out water from the Varthur lake and it is expected to be completed within 20 days. We have also made sure that no sewage enters the lake,” he said.

NGT committee

The BDA has been pulled up by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) time and again for failing to rejuvenate the lake. The NGT appointed a committee to oversee the protection and rejuvenation of Agara, Bellandur and Varthur lakes in December 2018.

In its report submitted to the NGT in September last year, the committee pulled up the government over ‘patent non-compliance in critical areas’ in matters relating to the highly polluted Bellandur, Agara and Varthur lakes.

Earlier this month, BDA called the tender for rejuvenation of Bellandur lake with an estimated cost of ₹250 crore.

Santosh Hegde, former Lokayukta, who also is heading the committee for rejuvenation of Bellandur and Varthur lakes appointed by the NGT, said the panel would closely monitor the rejuvenation work of both the lakes and submit reports to the NGT.

“We have called a meeting regarding the progress in the first week of February. We will get a clear picture, including detailed information on the tender,” he said. He also said the NGT had directed him to submit a progress report by the end of March.

U.V. Singh, member of the committee, said the committee has made various recommendations regarding rejuvenation, including desilting, fencing, clearing encroachments. “There are certain works that need to be completed by the end of March. By calling the tender, the BDA has followed the directions given by the NGT,” he said.

Scientific process

Residents are hoping for the rejuvenation process to begin at the earliest and be done scientifically. Vishnu Prasad of Bellandur Development Forum said the rejuvenation work should be done in consultation with ecologists, geologists, hydro-geologists.

Today last date for Bellandur tender

The last day to bid for the tenders called to rejuvenate Bellandur lake is Tuesday.

Speaking about clearing encroachments in Bellandur lake, U.V. Singh, member of the NGT committee, said most of the encroachments around the lake have been cleared. Various agencies, including, BBMP, BWSSB, Minor Irrigation Department, were a part of the process and their co-operation was vital in the rejuvenation, he added.

BDA officials said draining out of water from Bellandur was almost complete. “There is a patch of defence land towards one side of the lake where the water diversion is yet to be completed. We have written to them regarding it and will be completing the work soon. That apart, water diverting work is complete,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 3:52:26 AM |

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