Bangalore’s Lakes and Impact on Ground Water Bhargavi S.Rao Environment Support Group Bangalore www.esgindia.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org /email@example.com Anil Agarwal DialoguesCentre for Science and Environment
Bangalore’s lakesLakes of Bangalore are all built and interconnected by an intricate network of canals, as is the case across South India.Lakes help capture monsoon overflow, and store it for use in the post-monsoon season, in the process creating an intricate network of biodiversity rich wetlands, that help recharge ground water aquifers.Bangalore’s lakes are formed along three major valley systems namely Hebbal Valley, Koramangala & Challaghatta Valley and Vrishabhavati
Eg To show the Lake systems_Puttenahalli LakeSeries Area in Name of the Lake Ha 1. Lalbagh Lake 12.9 2. Yediyur Lake 6.45 3. Byrasandra Lake 6.19 4. Sarakki Lake 0.81 5. Puttenahalli Lake 32
Drinking water for EarlyBangaloreBangalore as an urban area evolved over centuries by sourcing water from lakes. That with the advent of electricity, water from Hesarghatta and T.G. Halli Reservoirs was pumped to the city. It was only in the early 1970s that the city received water from the Cauvery river, pumped at enormous energy costs from 100 kms. and lifted over a 500 metres head! 5
Lakes first victims ofintense urbanisation ofBangaloreThis has resulted in lakes being built over, replaced by bus stations, public buildings, stadiums, high rises, layouts, etc.
Encroachment and pollution of Raja Kaluves, canalsinterconnecting lakes, destroys lakes. Location : Near Madivala Location : Near Bismillahanagara 7
Location: Bilakalahalli, near Madivala KereLocation: Hosur Main Road, near Electronic City 8
Bangalore’s lakes once a haven for wingedvistorsKarnataka receives about five to six species of ducks from Europe; Bangalore gets about four to five species of smaller birds such as warblers from Siberia. Then there are a few species of raptors like eagles and harriers from Europe. They come during the winter and leave before summer begins. In the last five- six years, the number of birds coming to the lakes in Bangalore have greatly reduced. Migratory Ducks, Grey wagtails and Spot Billed Pelicans have reduced in numbers.
Leachates contaminate lakesA major threat to the health of lakes is from dumping of solid waste, and the flow of highly toxic untreated leachates from landfills.In Mavallipura, north of Bangaloe, over 40,00,000 tonnes of accumulated waste is contaminating lakes that were till recently the source of drinking water.
Festivals a curse to Bangalore LakesWater from the lakes in Bangalore soon after festivities has pH between 6.0 and 8.5, making if unfit for any use. Lakes become cesspools soon after festivities making the area around the lake unlivable with stench, mosquitoes and cleaning operations.
Sewage inflow kills fish in LakesUnplanned growth of the city combined with a lack of proper sewage treatment facility leads to sewage flowing directly into lakes leading to large scale fish kills in the lakes of destroying the livelihoods of fishermen.
Heavy metals contaminate Bangalore’s Ground waterA study conducted by the mines and geology department reveals that most of the city’s ground water is contaminated with heavy metals. Nitrates, Iron, Hardness, Fluorides are in excess of permissible limits from a host of dyeing, metal fabrication, chemical industries that were once given permission without any environmental concern.
Sand Mining in Lakes to support the boomingconstruction IndustryIllegal sand mining is rampant in many lakes in violation of all laws. It has become extremely difficult for the concerned authorities to keep a vigil on reckless sand mining and its transport. A big sand mafia controls the market!
Attempts at protecting lakes Laxman Rao Committee recommendations 1988: No layout be formed in tank bed areas either by the BDA or any other authority. Water sheets should be maintained wherever possible and sewerage and other pollutants should be suitably diverted. Dried lakes be developed as tree parks. LDA set up in 2002, as an agency for protection and maintenance of lakes.
LDA: Choosing Profits over people ?• Between 2004 & 2007, LDA leased out Nagawara, Hebbal,Vengaiahana Agara and other lakes to private companies.• Developers altering the character of the lakes because of activities like food courts, restaurants and amusement parks• Restrictions on people’s right to access open spaces.
Lakes dependentLivelihoodsFisherfolk, Dhobis, Agriculture, Harvesting of lotus are some of the livelihoods that are dependent on access to lakes.
Human Chain, protests, candle lightvigils, representations mark theefforts to protect lakesEminent citizens joinedthe movement to savethe lakes.Kannada theatre personand film Actress L. V.Sharada and Justicesadashiva supported thecampaign againstPrivatisation.
Pil Against Privatisation of Lakes • PIL against the privatization heard by the High Court • Status Report of the lakes prepared by the PCCF, on the direction of the Court, strongly makes a case against privatization • Protests at Agara lake by local residents. • Legislative Council passed a resolution disapproving the leasing out of lakes to private parties. • On November 4, 2008, High Court passes an interim order restraining the Government and private parties from further investment in developing lakes under the PPP model. • Need for a policy framework for maintenance of the lakes .
Report by Court Appointedcommittee Court appointed committee examines the realities and prepares a comprehensive report for the preservation of lakes.
Key recommendations of the report includeImmediate action to remove encroachments"lake restoration is to be taken up based on lake series/sub-series and not in isolation“.Stop entry of raw sewage into lakes and penalise offenders.Select lakes that are relatively undisturbed and rehabilitate them into drinking water reservoirs.
Key recommendations of the Report Lakes which have very high biodiversity, especially of migratory waterfowl, will be notified for conservation under the Wetland (Conservation and Management Rules), 2010, per the Environment Protection Act. Promoting the involvement of local communities in lake preservation and restoration. The report recommends constitution of lake management committees involving local residents and voluntary organisations. Further, the report highlights the need to protect the interest of traditional users of the lakes such as dhobis (washerpeople), fisherpeople, etc.
Final JudgmentProtects lakes across KarnatakaProhibits dumping of Garbage and Sewage in LakesLake area to be surveyed and fencedForest department to plant trees in consultation with expertsMember Secretary of state legal services authority to monitor implementation of the above in coordination with Revenue and Forest
Importance of lakes for groundwater rechargeWith the loss of lakes andthe city being built upwith no provision for rainwater to recharge theground water table inBangalore has reached adangerously low level
Bore wells in Bangalore touch 1000 ftIn 2009, a study on the city’s groundwater by the Department of Mines and Geology indicated overexploitation, leading to an alarming decline in the water levels. It was found that in many areas, the drilling agencies had gone as deep as 1,000ft to touch the static resource of water after exhausting the dynamic resource of the aquifer.
Number of Bore wells in No. 200,000Bangalore(conservative estimate)Cost of each Bore well Rs 20,000Total (private) investment on Bore Million Rs. 4,000wells in BangaloreInvestment on water storage sump Rs. per lt. 5(underground tank)Total (private) investment on water Million Rs. 25,000storage sumps in Bangalore
Water Mafia in BangaloreThe local water mafia that runs parallel to the coal mafia in Bihar and the iron ore mafia in Karnataka-Goa-Andhra has taken control of the citys water supply to run an extortionist private supply network In many parts of the city where government water supply has failed, or a scarcity has been deliberately created, a merry coalition of thugs, local politicians and even some water department employees run a parallel and private water supply network that borders on the extortionist.
Parched EmpireBangalore is the Asian megacity to come: It is full of the region’s most promising feature (new, eager middle-class workers and consumers) and its most dreadful (explosive, unplanned, chaotic sprawl).And it is heading squarely into a crisis. For, in little time, the metropolis known as the Garden City could become an enormous urban desert.
Groundwater Act 2011The State took a step towardredressing the issue inNovember 2011 by passing theKarnataka Groundwater Act2011 (Regulation and Controlof Development andManagement) in both housesof the State legislature. As aconsequence, a State Groundwater Authority, on the lines ofthe existing Central GroundWater Authority, wasconstituted.
Key features of the Karnataka Groundwater Act 2011All existing borewells in the City have to be registered with the newly constituted State Groundwater Authority by paying a registration fee. Permission must be sought to sink borewells in certain notified areas initially. This will cover all areas in the State in the long run. Borewells used for commercial purposes will be fixed with meters. Heavy penalty for violators of any of the above conditions
Rain water Harvesting made mandatoryRainwater harvesting was mandated in Bangalore by law twice. Once in 2005, through building bye-laws. And more recently through an amendment of the BWSSB Act .The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage (Amendment) Act, 2009, 72A-Obligation to provide rainwater harvesting structure
Despite threat, rainwater harvesting a flop in cityOnly 44,760 people have complied so far. There are more than 10 lakh properties in the city, including six lakh in the core areas. Of these, only 44,470 have adopted RWH, which does not account for even 1 per cent. although the rules empower the BWSSB to disconnect water and sanitary lines of buildings that don’t adopt RWH.
Immediate ActionAwarenessCommunity ParticipationRecharge to ground water.Roof top Rainwater harvesting.Rejuvenation of tanks and lakes.Waste water recycling for secondary uses.