While the Bellandur lake in Bangalore continues to froth, the city’s municipal corporation Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) has claimed that it will clean up 24 lakes in the city by the end of the current fiscal year.
The lakes located in Devarabeesanahalli, Surahmanyapura, Siddapura, Kempambudi and Kalkere have been selected for the project.
According to the Palike’s Commissioner, Manjunath Prasad, the lakes will be developed at an estimated cost of Rs 70 crore, which has been sanctioned by the Karnataka government.
The Palike has obtained technical and administrative approvals for the project, and have also cleared tenders for the same. However, the approved tenders are awaiting the approval of the Karnataka government.
“We are only waiting for the government’s approval. Once we get it, the lake development works will begin. This time, we hope for no delays and the proposed lake revival will take place,” Prasad said.
One of the lakes that is going to be restored, is the Kempambudhi lake located in Basavanagudi. The lake is significant because it was constructed by Bengaluru’s founder Kempegowda and served as a catchment area. The Palike has allotted Rs 4 crore for the restoration of this lake, of which Rs 1.37 crore has been allotted to divert the sewage flowing into the lake from the stormwater drains.
However, not everyone is convinced by the civic agency’s assurance. Bangaloreans once again saw foam from the Bellandur lake spill onto the road, after a brief shower.
“On April 20, 2016, when the Bellandur Lake frothed over, the Union government had allotted Rs 800 crore for cleaning up Bengaluru Lakes. Of this, Rs 500 crore alone was allotted to construct pipelines to divert sewage flow, and Rs 162 crore for setting up sewage treatment plants. This project has also been on hold ever since. The civic agencies have been making promises since a very long time. We cannot take this proposal at face value until the BBMP delivers by meeting deadlines,” said a senior official with the Karnataka State Lake Development Authority.
The Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) was earlier in charge of lake revival in the city but failed to deliver on their promise. Claiming the BDA was short of fund, the responsibility was shifted to the BBMP two years ago.