The Singapura lake was a water source so full of life that the areas surrounding it did not need any supply of water from anywhere else. Today, about half the lake is gone. The wetland alongside the lake, between the Singapura and Abbigere lakes, that had a ‘rajakaluve’, has also been taken up. It has now been closed to make room for the construction of a road. Wetlands are important for the sustenance of lakes and when every bit of the lake is systematically encroached upon and used up in the aforementioned way, the lake suffers terribly.
It’s one evil if not another for lakes in the city today as we see in the case of the Chikka Banavara Lake. The water that flows down from the Singapura and Abbigere lakes, reaches the Lakshmipura lake and ultimately flows into the Chikka Banavara Lake. Effluents and sewage from localities alongside, all flow with. It is quite visibly heavily polluted and another unfortunate marker of the pollution is the lack of birds near this lake. Years ago, the Chikka Banavara Lake was known for the huge variety of birds that would flock to it.
Contamination by chemicals is another huge problem facing our lakes today. Several sewage-free lakes are in fact contaminated so fully with zinc, magnesium, cadmium, etc, from wastewater release by factories. Potent, poisonous chemicals from the powder-coating industries and electroplating industries are entering our waters. It goes without saying that this is extremely dangerous to animal and human lives.
The Karnataka Pollution Control Board is supposed to have taken initiatives to clean up these lakes. For about forty years, they have seen lakes rot with pollutants in them but no change has been made, no measures taken. The Byramangala lake, for example, is in ruins and even though they have the land resource for a building pollution control measures alongside the lake, the Karnataka Pollution Control Board is mum and has taken no action. Citizen groups are working tirelessly towards conserving and rejuvenating these lakes but for their efforts to come to fruition, a lot of regulation by authorities is necessary. They must consider the consequences of their inaction and join hands in the conservation practices before it is too late.
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Anagha T R.