Why Do Bengaluru's Foamy Lakes Need Foreign Help, Ask City Experts

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Karnataka government has invited foreign firms to present their ideas to clean up Bengaluru's lakes.

Bengaluru:  Foam, froth and flames, caused by toxic chemicals and untreated sewage, have been appearing in two of the largest lakes in Bengaluru -- Bellandur and Varthur -- for two decades. But the Karnataka government's latest decision to invite British and Israeli firms to present their ideas to solve the problem has not gone down well with a section of the city's lake rejuvenation experts.

TV Ramachandra,  a professor at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and part of an expert committee set up by the government said international expertise is not required to clean up the lakes. "We have given a reasonably good proposal for the rejuvenation of lakes in Bangalore...we know how to manage it," he said.

Professor Ramachandra says it will take only 18 to 20 months to clean up the lakes, if the authorities do it the right way.

Though the pollution board and the civic agencies, including the water and sewage board, are involved in pollution control, lake development and sewage management, it was the Karnataka State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation which invited the foreign experts.

Karnataka's industries minister RV Deshpande told NDTV, "There has to be funding, there has to be resources. So many things are there. It is at a very initial stage."

DC Sekhar, director of AlphaMERS, a private firm working in the field of cleaning water bodies, told NDTV that he believed Indian companies could easily do the work. "It just needs the will, the funds to go ahead and do it. They(foreign firms) are experienced. But there isn't any great technology. I am sure Indians can do that."

The Jakkur lake in north Bengaluru was successfully rejuvenated by the city's experts who feel that the same model will work for Bellandur and Varthur lakes.

Professor Ramachandra says the Pollution Control Board has to ensure zero discharge from industries so their waste doesn't come to the lakes. "The BBMP has to make sure that solid waste is not dumped into the lake bed and the lake or storm water drain is not encroached by the mafia of the region," he said.

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