Bengaluru: Members of the United Bengaluru - Naagrika Citizens' Watch Committee on Saturday visited Puttenahalli, Allalsandra, Yelahanka and Jakkur lakes to assess the extent of pollution and encroachments.
The committee, with citizens, activists and NGOs as its members, is on a mission to reclaim and protect city's lakes.
Mr S. Vishwanath, a lake expert, said, "Encroachments, dumping of debris, inflow of sewage and industrial effluents from Yelahanka New Town affect Puttenahalli Lake. We need to revive the lake as a wetland. The weed cleared from the lake can be used as fodder for close to 500 cows. There are plans to convert islands in the lake into bird sanctuaries. These lakes are said to be part of Dakshin Pinakini, and it is important to reclaim them as it could facilitate the revival of the river."
The government has allocated Rs 10 crore for managing Puttenahalli Lake and tenders will be put out by June 23.
Works on Puttenahalli Lake will be taken up on the lines of Allalsandra Lake, which is considered a model lake. But effluents from the Karnataka Milk Factory (KMF) are still being let into Allasandra Lake, and there are plans to set up a sewage treatment plant (STP).
Mr Ashwin Mahesh, an urban expert, said, "We were expecting the BBMP to take up the initiative. But the administration is not strong enough and there is a lack of money and manpower. Why always the government? Let us as citizens take measures as we are the guardians of our lakes."
Measures are in place to protect Yelahanka Lake too, but it faces the threat of sewage from ward no. 2. Around 1,000 saplings have been planted around the lake, an initiative of Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
Freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy suggested ideas to Yelahanka MLA S.R. Vishwanath for managing Puttenahalli Lake. He said, "Preserving our lakes is not our work, but our moral responsibility. We will be able to utilise our own lake water for drinking instead of relying on other sources. Get on, get honest."...