Polluted stream contaminates Bengaluru's Doddakallasandra lake: Who is to blame?

ByYamini C S
Oct 08, 2022 03:23 PM IST

A resident took to Twitter to alert Bengaluru's civic body of the contamination of the Doddakallasandra lake.

A Bengaluru resident, Raghavendra B Pachhapur, who works at ActionAid Association, a a company that promotes ecological justice, stood up for a dying lake in the city's Doddakallasandra area and alerted officials from local body - the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike or BBMP - to save it from contamination. The man went on Twitter to voice his concerns and said he has filed six complaints so far with no action taken yet.

The Doddakallasandra lake, which is losing much of its biodiversity due to continued sewage flow.(Raghavendra B Pachhapur-Twitter)
The Doddakallasandra lake, which is losing much of its biodiversity due to continued sewage flow.(Raghavendra B Pachhapur-Twitter)

“Polluted stream unstoppable @ #DoddakallasandraLake in-spite of four official complaints to @karnatakakspcb @Srinivas_IFS @BBMPCOMM efforts gone in vain Should we approach @CPCB_OFFICIAL! @urbanvoicesin @SDGoals @Sdg13Un @WFRising @Namma_Bengaluru #ActForWater #ActForEcology,” he wrote on September 30.

READ | Bengaluru’s lakes hit with continued encroachments and contamination

He posted a video showing the lake on a geographic map and marking the area where a polluted stream, according to him, has been entering the lake for the last three years. The polluted stream has been entering the lake from private properties beside it, the video showed. The sewage water has accumulated to the extent that it has stagnated on the lake surface, he underlined. Five official complaints have also been lodged with the KSPCB - the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board - but apparently in vain.

READ | Sewage flow causes fish kill in Bengaluru's Haralur lake

The tweet, however, garnered attention of the Doddakallasandra Lake Protection Committee, which replied, “We request the concerned officials at #KSPCB to look into the matter on an urgent basis and find a sustainable solution for the issue.”

However, after no apparent response from the board, the man went on to seek help from Bengaluru's civic administrative body - the BBMP. "Six complaints over 23 months to #BBMP. Unable to resolve the problem of a contaminated stream next to #DoddakallasandraLake. #ActForWater #ActForEcology @ecology_tweets @Jahnaviravindra @shreyas_ToI @aksheevthakur @ShreyashiMukh16 @SnehaVRamesh @nkaggere @pinkychandran @cksaysso," Pachhapur wrote in a tweet on Thursday.

Attaching another video of the encroachment and violations, he also posted a list of complaints given to the concerned authorities so far. The video in the tweet showed that the complaints to BBMP were made using the Sahaya app on which the status of the complaints were ‘resolved’.

Pachhapur said that the community around Doddakallasandra lake is conscious about lake conservation and that they raise issues as and when it happens. “We have been successful so far in protecting water quality under Class-D, for the last 10 months after rejuvenation. However, BBMP as a custodian of lakes has the responsibility to protect and conserve lakes in Bengaluru,” he said.

IAS officer Tushar Giri Nath, BBMP's chief commissioner, told Hindustan Times that the sewage flow in Doddakallasandra is due to the incomplete construction of a sewage line by the BWSSB - Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, another local body. “The Doddakallasandra lake is mainly contaminated due to sewage flow, for which BWSSB is responsible. When they finish constructing a sewage line in the sea, only then the lake can be prevented from getting polluted,” he said.

READ | Pattandur Agrahara Lake: BBMP books activist over social media campaign

A similar social media campaign in April - to save the Pattandur Agrahara lake in the Whitefield area - had caught the attention of BBMP officers, who were accused by the Residential Welfare Association (RWA) of constructing a road in its buffer zone. The BBMP in May booked lake activist Sandeep Anirudhan, the president of Whitefield's Residential Welfare Association (RWA) for “spreading propaganda” and “inciting people” through social media posts.

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