Will ‘Kere Clean Up’ see partial success?

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Bangalore, October 4:   Residents of Vidyaranyapura have long awaited the results of a major rejuvenation project of three lakes here, which they have been promised, will help recharge the dwindling groundwater levels.

The clean-up is underway and silt traps have been constructed at Doddabamsandra lake as part of a Rs. 3 crore project of the BBMP. Another project aims to revive two smaller lakes – Narsipura-I and Narsipura-II.

But with interconnectivities all but lost, the full ecological and hydrological potential of these lakes may never be met, says S. Vishwanath, a resident and rainwater harvesting expert.

Not full

While a good monsoon helped fill up these lakes to a large extent, they are far from brimming. Doddabamsandra lake and Narsipura-I and Narsipura-II, which have undergone massive revival after a strong collective initiative taken up by BBMP and the residents of the area, are anything but full.

K.V. Ravi, BBMP Executive Engineer, agrees that rejuvenation would have been more meaningful if the many interconnecting canals were not in a state of disrepair. “But that is for the stormwater division of BBMP to address,” he told The Hindu.

Mr. Ravi hopes that after the revival of these lakes is complete, the entire locality will have better groundwater resources and that their dependence on tankers will dip.

“Restoration of biodiversity and recharge of groundwater was one of the main reasons behind the impetuous lake clean-up. A lot of expenditure was incurred but, but the long-term effects of this project – if done scientifically – will be beneficial,” says Mr. Vishwanath.

Second phase

“Doddabamsandra is already in the second phase of development involving diversion of sewage, construction of a waste-weir and foot-bridge. These lakes are highly dependent on rainfall. But we have to make sure that stormwater does not mix with sewage,” said Mr. Ravi.

He also added that once the lake is restored, BBMP would also add a walking track around the lake and install a sewage treatment plant with a capacity to treat 1.5 million litres per day.

Positive attention

But the revival of these lakes has already attracted a lot of attention, much of it positive, from local residents.

Madhusudan Rao, a retired BEL employee, says: “Earlier, sewage would collect in Narsipura-I and Narsipura-II and cause nauseatingly foul smell. Now people come here in large numbers to see the development and also to enjoy the ambience.”

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