Bengaluru: Clean drinking water is still a distant dream for those staying near Byramangala reservoir and Vrishabhavathi Valley, which could be more polluted than the infamous Bellandur and Varthur lakes.
The citizens’ group, United Bengaluru, which is at the forefront of fight against deterioration of city’s lakes, visited the two water bodies on Saturday, and met local residents and government officials.
The residents said that froth can be seen in Byramangala reservoir and it could be the next Bellandur Lake.
Mr G. Ramaiyya, chairman, Byramangala panchayat, said, “The lake is slowly becoming like Bellandur Lake, as untreated sewage and effluents from Peenya and Bidadi Industrial areas enter the lake. I want the government to protect this lake the same way it does with the other water bodies.”
He said that the government sanctioned Rs 100 crore in 2015 to restore the reservoir, but he does not know where the money was spent.
Mr Murali of Bidadi Industrial Area said, “There should be a good coexistence between nature and industry. I will collect the data on the number of industries which have installed Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs).”
Environment officer S. Siddaramaiah, however, claimed that the industries have installed STPs and the froth was because of use of soaps and detergents. One of the residents, on condition of anonymity, said that the tender coconut grown in the area and the milk from cows grazing nearby cannot be consumed because of high levels of arsenic, which has found its way from the polluted waters of the reservoir.
Most of the local residents complained that they have developed skin diseases because of polluted water. Mr Subbu Hegde, president, Classic Orchids Property Owners’ Association, said, “The condition of these water bodies is manmade and the government’s negligence is clearly visible. Residents of villages around the lake are suffering from health issues. But when these villagers approach the government, the response is not proper.”
At the Vrishabhavathi valley, United Bengaluru members found not only froth but also waste material blocking free flow of water. There was also equipment used for sand mining found along the valley.
Mr Sridhar Pabbisetty, CEO, Namma Bengaluru Foundation, said, “The pollution level at Byramangala Lake is much more than Bellandur and Varthur lakes. Industrial pollutants are entering the lake from faraway places like Peenya. It's high time the government rejuvenated the lake.” The reservoir is under the ambit of Minor Irrigation Department, but the lake water is unfit for irrigation, said Mr Suresh N.R., Convener, United Bengaluru....