news Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 05:30

A day after people living within the vicinity of Bellandur, Varthur and Yemalur lakes posted pictures of the lakes bubbling over on social media, catching the attention of the media, one would have thought that Bengaluru authorities in deep slumber would have woken up.   You are wrong. Neither the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewage Board (BWSSB) nor the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), have stepped up to take any action. All that has happened after all the panic is that officials from the BBMP or Bengaluru Municipal Corporation visited the lakes and sprayed water to reduce the level of foam. “But this is only a temporary solution, like using adhesive bandages. Once it rains, the foam will develop again and will get worse,” said Elan Kulandaivelu, a volunteer with Whitefield Rising who has been studying this phenomenon over the last 5-6 months. So far, no BWSSB official has come on record despite several attempts to contact them. In the last three days, a thick layer of white foam had split over - on to the roads beyond the confines of the lake with many commuters facing a herculean task trying to pass the stretch. Officials of the BWSSB and KSPCB insist that the froth is result of detergents that follows from households. However, Elan says that it not just the detergents, but a mixture of urine as well as fecal matter has caused this. The mixture of the three has a high concentration of phosphates and ammonia which results in froth, he says. It is the duty of the Pollution Control Board to keep a check on pollution levels. If BWSSB was found to be violating it, they should have taken stringent measures against them,” he said. He blamed both the authorities for not tackling the situation. A resident of Sobha apartments in Bellandur, Nagesh V said that ground water that is available is not potable. Seconding him, Elan says that harmful bacteria has percolated deep into the ground table along with the silt and the water is not fit for consumption. He even mentioned a survey conducted by students in which doctors had said there was a spurt in water borne diseases and skin problems. What did the officials say? KSPCB Chairman said, “In Bengaluru, supply of drinking water and treating of sewage is the responsibility of BWSSB and it is has to be treated before it is let into the lakes." Chief Engineer (Waste Water Management) Ramakrishna S M, BWSSB, said, “The role of the KSPCB is not just to give us a notice, but to ensure and check who is polluting the lake." Read more: Alarming images of Bengaluru lakes bubbling over, but authorities shrug off responsibility

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