Frothy mess: Mild weekend rain causes Bengaluru’s Bellandur Lake to foam yet again

The Bellandur lake has gained an infamous reputation for foaming multiple times and even occasionally catching fire.
Frothy mess: Mild weekend rain causes Bengaluru’s Bellandur Lake to foam yet again
Frothy mess: Mild weekend rain causes Bengaluru’s Bellandur Lake to foam yet again
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For the second time in less than a month, Bengaluru’s Bellandur Lake has begun to emanate toxic foam. Over the years, the lake has gained notoriety for foaming multiple times and even catching fire on occasions.

Although it normally begins to foam during the monsoons, the lake has been frothing for the last couple of days owing to a short spell of rain that brushed the city over the weekend. The rains create turbulence in the lake which churns industrial toxins in the water, causing it to spill foam.

The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) is the regulatory body that handles matters related to the Bellandur Lake. But when Rakhi*, an activist from citizen’s group Bellandur Rising, tried to get in touch with them, they were unresponsive.

 “They've put up stopgap arrangements like installing sprinklers which try to bring the foam down and a barb-wired fence to hold the foam down. But the problems still persist,” Rakhi told TNM.

“The sludge needs to be removed from the lake. There is no other solution. Only when this happens will we see some improvement,” says Ramaprasad, an activist from another citizen’s group Friends of Lakes.

With the foaming comes the inescapable stench of the toxin-ridden lake and the air pollution that has reportedly begun to affect the health of nearby residents.

“There's a terrible stench emanating from the lake. All the residents here are complaining about it. We've already submitted a letter to the pollution control board about treating the stench and the air pollution, but there has been no action. People are finding it difficult to breathe. Children wake up coughing in the night,” says the activist from Bellandur Rising.

There have been plans to build a sewage treatment plant to curb pollution, but this is scheduled to be complete only in 2020.

“How do they expect us to live like this until then? I understand the scale is large but they also have more resources than what apartment owners do,” says Rakhi.

 There has been a recommendation from Bellandur Rising to create wetlands instead of a sewage treatment plant, but the suggestion is yet to gain approval from the government.

“We would be happy to have a tertiary treatment plant rather than a sewage treatment plant. But there may not be enough space for this,” says Ramaprasad.

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