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Curious case of Bellandur lake: Froth, fire and other hazards

By Nikita Nayar
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Bengaluru's largest lake, the Bellandur lake, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Whether its froth spilling onto roads or the fire on the lake's surface, the rampant dumping of chemical waste has ruined the ecology of this lake. Is this the price we have to pay for urbanisation? Can we afford to lose these lakes which are an integral part of the city due to the callous attitude of the authorities?

File photo of froth spewing out of Bellandur lake

Plenty of deadlines have passed and assurances have been made, but the 900-acre Bellandur lake still remains one of the most polluted lakes of the city as nothing has been done for the cause. Searing images of the lake covered with froth and then catching fire went viral all across the world, putting the city to shame. People started questioning if the situation is even being taken seriously by the concerned authorities.

The residents in and around the area have witnessed the lake catching fire thrice but that is not the only problem. The strong stench caused by the waste dumped in the area also results in major health issues that have already affected plenty of the people residing in that area.

As part of the safety requirements, they have also added the facilities of CCTV cameras in and around the lake to catch hold of the lawbreakers so as to curb the menace of waste disposal in the lake. BBMP had also deployed drones that would circulate twice in a day around the lake to investigate the cause of repeated fire accidents in the waterbody. The froth is no longer restricted to only the lake as it has begun to overflow onto the roads.

In the name of industrial progression and modernisation, we have failed to realise that there are many other factors to be put into place before we move ahead as they play a vital role in saving our economy. In this case, the industries have developed, but only at the cost of the environment and the health of the residents living close to the lake. The pollution in the lake leads to both breathing problems and skin problems.

In addition to the damage already done, the ignorance of the authorities towards the issue has led to worse circumstances.

"The real problem is during the rainy season", says Dyna Ganapathi, a resident near the Bellandur lake.

"The stench from the lake during the rainy season has also caused a mosquito menace in the area. Nothing seems to be done it yet even though we have continuously been getting assurances about the betterment of the situation," she added.

Despite the continuous assurances being given to the public, there has not been any progress in terms of tackling the situation effectively. It has only been getting worse. Nearby industries have also repeatedly been asked to shut down. It is not going to be long before the lake witnesses another fire and the residents of the area are yet again asked to tolerate the consequences of the situation.

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