Bengaluru: Bellandur Lake's toxic plight has received widespread publicity but several other lakes in the city are dead or dying from pollution and encroachment. One such lake is the Narsappanahalli lake in Peenya 4th Phase.
Spread over 48 acres, the lake has fallen victim to industrial effluents and other chemicals. The lake's buffer zone has also been encroached by private industries, but none of the civic agencies have bothered to visit let alone take action for the brazen violation.
Speaking to Bfirst.in, Pramod Baliga, propreitor, Sagittarius Metals Private Limited, who is also a member of Friends of Lake, said the lake was fenced earlier and surrounded by Nilgiri trees. "Now, private industries have broken the fence and have setup industries. The lake's buffer zone is used for dumping industrial waste," said Baliga, adding that around 200 loads of mud was dumped all of a sudden recently. "That might be to show that the lake and its wetland had lost all its features," he said.
Baliga said when Friends of Lake brought the problem to the BBMP's attention, the civic body had no clue about the existence of the lake. "To whom do we complain about the lake? None of the civic agencies are interested in this lake. No one seems to bother," said Baliga.
He said that most of the industries were "galvanizing units" setup "near SWDs or lakes" so that they can let the acids and chemicals easily into the lake.
Tracing the history of the arrival of industries, Dr Rudresh, an industrialist in Peenya 4th phase, said the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board developed the area in 1990s for industrial use. "Around 10 years ago, more private industries were setup. Although we were allocated land by the KIADB, we have always taken care of greenery, especially the lake. But for the past two years, the condition of lake has worsened. All kinds of chemicals are being released and burnt," he said.
Thayamma, a resident of Peenya for more than 40 years, claimed that three of her cows died after drinking the toxic water while Rajappa, another resident, said he lost one of his cows to the lake. "Since this is an industrial area, we can only access the lake area," said Thayamma.
But in their trademark fashion, civic agencies continue to blame each other.
Nagaraju, Superintendent, Lakes Division, BDA, said, the lake was the responsibility of the BBMP. "After BDA failed to rejuvenate Narsappanahalli lake, which falls in Dasarahalli Zone and Peenya, the government passed on order on 14/9/2016 stating that 50 lakes with the BDA shall be transferred and BBMP shall be the custodian of the lakes. GO number 449 clearly mentions that Narasappanahalli lake belongs to the BBMP," said Nagaraju.
But the BBMP said the BDA was still in-charge of the lake since they hadn't been handed over the files! "The BDA has not given us the lake files," said Somashekhar, Chief Engineer, Lakes, BBMP.
Vidyasagar, Chief Executive Officer, Lake Development Authority, said he would visit the lake and also summon the KSPCB officials who are supposed to shut down industries.
There was no response from the KSPCB.