By: Meghna Das Chowdhury
The lake inside Cubbon Park, which used to attract a lot of visitors is now under threat because of its poor condition. Due to the huge amount of waste and sewage accumulation, the entire lake has turned into an algae lake. The Cubbon Park authorities have started to clean up the lake.
The lake which is near the tall bamboo plants at Cubbon Park has turned down to a miserable condition as the entire water body has turned into an algae lake which is only green in color. Visitors say that they have often seen people throwing garbage at it and the lake was not properly maintained. This might be the reason for the lake turning out to be a breeding ground for mosquitoes and the formation of algae.
“I have visited Cubbon Park earlier and every time I see this lake, I see garbage items like plastic cups, chips packet floating on its surface. The lake is not cleaned regularly,” Sombrita Dutta, a regular visitor of the park informed.
The matter is taken up by the Horticulture Department and they have joined hands with the Cubbon Park authorities to clean up the lake and prevent it from getting polluted again. An official from the Horticulture Department informed, “We plan to clean up the lake as soon as possible and the work has already started. We have got contractors, who would clean up the lake as well as clear out the dried bamboo plants. Once it is done, we will try to not make the lake polluted again.”
According to an article by Deccan Chronicle published in 2014, “Visitors going to Cubbon Park can soon revel in a breath-taking view of the lakes during their stroll at the park. The Horticulture department has joined hands with various agencies like B.PAC, Bangalore Cares, and other organizations to revive the dried-up lakes inside the park. Plans are afoot to rejuvenate the three existing lakes in Cubbon Park premises before the next monsoon.”
Workers are found working on the lake to clear out the algae and throw out the garbage from the lake. Anil Kumar, one of the contractor workers informed, “We are trying to clean up the lake as soon as possible. There is a lot of algae formation in the lake. It will take time until we finally get to see the clear water. The water smells bad too. It has become the breeding ground for mosquitoes.”
Megha Singh, a visitor to the park said, “The beauty of the lake is lost. It is looking miserable and the lake is not giving cold winds like it earlier used to give. If people be so ignorant and keep throwing garbage into the lakes, then they should not be allowed to enter the park. They spoil the beauty.”
The water has started to dry up. The number of algae present in the lake clearly indicates that it is quite possible no marine animal living beneath the water will be having access to oxygen. The leaves from in and around the trees also fall into the lake and make it look more filled.
Environmentalist Akshay Heblikar, Director of Eco-Watch, when asked to comment on the situation, informed The Observer, “The problem with all these lakes and lakes in the urban areas is that, people are not really dependent on it as a source of water. As a result, they don’t think twice before polluting them. They don’t think before pouring the sewage to the lakes and lakes. In the rural areas people depend on these water bodies for various reasons, as a result, they try not to pollute it.
“The algae formed on these lakes not only makes the water polluted but also affects the marine animal living underneath it. It is killing them. Moreover, one cannot consume the fish that belongs to a very dirty algae-filled lake or lake. If anyone does, then he is ought to meet some disease.”
According to the GOVERNMENT OF INDIA – MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE, “In order to conserve wetlands and lakes in an integrated manner, all the States/ Union Territories have been advised for giving high priority for the constitution of State wetland/ lake authorities, identification and notification of priority wetlands…”
“Bangalore had some 1000 lakes. It was known as the garden city. Due to the cool breeze blowing over the lakes, the climate of the city always remained moderate. But now, due to the increasing population, people have started encroaching into lakes and lakes. Tonnes of waste is created every day and most of it is received by the water bodies,” said Akshay Heblikar.