As many as 19 lakes in Bengaluru have been encroached and only 21 lakes have water fit for drinking, a new study submitted in the Karnataka High Court this week has found. The study was conducted by CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and it suggested long-term and short-term measures to rejuvenate Bengaluru's lakes.
CSIR-NEERI was asked to submit a report by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) after it was directed by the Karnataka High Court which is hearing a batch of petitions related to the condition of lakes in the city.
CSIR-NEERI's report stated that only 21 of the 210 lakes in Bengaluru have water fit for drinking purposes. Among this, 11 lakes are in the Yelahanka zone of the city and includes the Agrahara lake, Ramagondanahalli lake and Thirumenahalli lake that have been developed. In the rest of the city only 10 out of 178 lakes have water fit for drinking.
Discussing the popular Ulsoor Lake, the report stated that the water quality of the lake was only good enough for domestic, industrial and irrigation purposes. Ït stated that the water in the Kaggadasapura lake is unsuitable for drinking purposes.
Only 1 of the 48 lakes in Bommanahalli zone had water fit for drinking - Nyanappanahalli Lake - while 3 lakes in Mahadevapura zone had water fit for drinking. In many cases, it was not possible to measure the water quality since the lake surface was covered with water weeds.
The report also stated that 19 lakes in the city were encroached upon. Out of the 205 lakes, 19 lakes are being termed as disused lakes. All these disused lakes are encroached except Arehalli and Tavarekere," states the report. The Lingarajapura, Doresanipalya, Geddalahalli, Arehalli and Bilekahalli lakes were encroached by the construction of Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) layouts. The report suggested that desilting and dredging are essential to restore the water in lakes.
The High Court of Karnataka will study the issue of the condition of Bengaluru's lakes beginning next week. A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum will hold sittings twice a week and focus on rejuvenation of few lakes including the Kamakshipalya, Arehalli and Tavarekere lakes.