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Puttenahalli Lake may soon be brimming again

The New Indian Express

By S Lalitha


BENGALURU: The dry Puttenahalli Lake in Yelahanka is all set to be revived with the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) giving the green signal to a huge residential complex in the vicinity to discharge its surplus treated water into the lake.

South City residential complex in JP Nagar 7th Phase is located close to the BBMP-owned lake. The complex has 18 blocks with 1,998 apartments. A sophisticated Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) installed here treats 1,100 kilo litres of water per day (KLD). While 500 KLD is used for flushing, gardening and other purposes, 600 KLD is discharged into the underground drainage system.

Pollution Control Board chairman Vaman Acharya told Express he decided on the move after visiting the lake on Saturday. “We are permitting the discharge of treated water on a pilot basis and will assess the impact of this move on the lake in six months or one year. If it helps in reviving the lake, we will then consider implementing this idea in other lakes,” he said.

An oral permission has been granted to all the parties working towards this project. “KSPCB will send a formal letter to them in a day or two,” Acharya said.

The board will ensure that the quality of water discharged into the lake is good by using an online monitoring system, Acharya said. A sensor will be installed at the STP to facilitate this.

This news was music to the ears of the Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust (PNLIT). The Palike had officially entrusted it with maintenance of the lake through a memorandum of understanding in June 2011. The lake bed spreads across 10 acres.

“The reality here is that the deepest point of the lake does not have more than one or two feet of water,” said Usha Rajagopalan, the trust’s chairperson. “Yet, it is filled with fish and lots of birds visit the place regularly. Once the lake is filled with water, encroachment can be avoided,” she said.

The BBMP had recently told the trust to get statutory consent from KSPCB to release its surplus treated water. “If KSPCB okays it, then we will have no problem giving our consent,” said  B V Satish, BBMP chief engineer (Lakes).

C Siddaramaiah, KSPCB’s environmental officer, Bommanahalli, said the treated water from the apartment’s STP has been assessed and was found to be of excellent quality. It is sometimes even better than the water supplied by the BWSSB (Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board).”

All that remains is laying of a high-density PVC pipe running to a length of 170 to 200 metres underground to transport the treated water from South City to the lake.

South City Housing Apartment Owners’ Association (SUGRUHA) had requested permission from civic bodies to revive the lake using its discharged water.

Shaik Mahammad Raffi, a resident here and a waste water expert, said the STP in the apartment could only treat 800 KLD earlier.

“Keeping the revival of Puttenahalli Lake in mind, we spent money and upgraded the plant recently so that it can now discharge 1,100 KLD,” he said.

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