In July this year, water from Bengaluru’s Bellandur Lake was let into several lakes in the neighbouring Kolar district after treatment. Kolar residents rose up in protest against the pollution of the water bodies due to badly treated wastewater released by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB).
When the water supply agency had formulated the plan in 2017, Kolar was not the only place. Bengaluru’s wastewater was going to be let into. The BWSSB had also conceptualised the idea of sending foamy and smelly “treated water” to lakes in Hoskote and Chikkaballapur.
As Kolar’s residents continue to protest against the release of polluted water into their lakes, the Minor Irrigation department is planning to supply “treated water” from the
Vengaiahnakere Lake in KR Puram to 30 lakes in Hoskote, in Bengaluru Rural district.
The department has also floated pre-qualification tenders, inviting bidders to conduct detailed surveys and submit a report on the design and electromechanical works required
for a project of such a scale.
The bids were opened last week and will end in February. However, this is not the first time that Bengaluru’s badly treated sewage is flowing into Hoskote’s lakes. For over half a decade now, the treated water from the Yellamallappa Shetty Lake is being let into the storm water drains in Hosakote. This water ultimately ends up in Dodda Kere in Hoskote, one of the area’s largest lakes.
“Water from the Devasandra, Dandashakti and Basavanapura Lakes flow into the Yellamallappa Shetty Lake in Bengaluru’s northern area. The STP there is dysfunctional. Many
of the processes that need to be followed while treating sewage is not implemented. The water from the outlet of this lake is smelly and frothy. The situation is the same in Vengaiahnakere in KR Puram. Now they want to pollute Hoskote’s water bodies even more?” questions Bali, an environmental activist from Hoskote.
Speaking to TNM, Bali says that over the past few weeks, several volunteers in Hoskote organised a cycle rally and a protest demanding that badly treated water from Bengaluru not be discharged into Hoskote.
Bali and a group of volunteers have also collected water samples from the outlet of Yellamallappa Shetty Lake and the Vengaiahnakere, which is currently being tested.
“We want to determine the scale of contamination of the water. We are planning to file a petition with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) regarding the release of badly treated
water,” Bali says.
In July this year, froth was noticed in Lakshmisagar Lake in Kolar district after water was released into it under the KC Valley project. Many Kolar residents staged
protests and the Minor Irrigation department stopping pumping of water. The flow resumed only after the Karnataka High Court issued strict directions on water quality.
Sewage water from Koramangala and Challaghatta Valley, including water from Bellandur and Varthur Lakes, is treated at STPs installed in Bellandur before it is released to
Kolar. The water is also released to a few tanks in Chintamani taluk of the neighbouring Chikkaballapur district.
The sewage treatment plants were constructed to put an end to the menace of frothing water commonly seen in the Bellandur and Varthur Lakes in the city. The Bellandur Lake is unpopular among local residents for the huge clouds of white, toxic foam that float up and on to the roads regularly from the lake’s surface. The situation is similar in Varthur Lake.