Very few cities in the world have the distinction of having a foaming and frothing tank and also a river.
has this dubious distinction and what is more the foam and froth is a perennial
It may sound unbelievable but the lake is the biggest in
and till a few year ago, it boasted of a thriving fish market on its shores or
bund and it irrigated large lands apart from
meeting the drinking water needs of
thousands of Bangaloreans. Today, all this is a thing of the past and
the vast water body is so full of detergents, chemicals and silage that it is
always in a state of foaming. Bangalore
Similarly, the river, once the pride of
Bangalore, is a vicious cesspool
and almost al of ’s
wastes, industrial effluents, debris, filth have choked it, making it more of a
The river is Vrishabhavati, which originates in Peenya and flows for about 52 kilometres before joining the Arkavathy. The total catchment area of Vrishabhavati is estimated to be about 350 sq.km. A perennial channel of waste water, during summers it almost entirely carries sewage, both industrial and domestic from south west parts of
apart from industrial
effluents from industries located in the vicinity. Bangalore
The quantity of domestic sewage entering the Vrishabhavati is around 290 MLD and industrial effluents 10 MLD. Thus the total
flow during summers into the river is estimated at about 300 MLD.
No wonder, the river is now almost dead though insensitive politicians and an equally inept bureaucracy coupled with greedy encroachers continue making crores by promising to clean up the river and revive it and floating schemes after schemes, none of which seem to work.
This is the unfortunate scenario of two of
’s best known water bodies-the
Bellandur lake and Vrishabhavati river. Both today are the best examples
of foolish and mindless urban planning
and a perfect tribute to the shortsightedness of man. Bangalore
As late as the 1970s, the Vrishabhavati gently flowed across several localities of
and scores of villages, provided
drinking water and even gave people a variety of aquatic and marine life. Even
the scholarly Madhwa or Dwaitha saint, Vyasa Raja or Vysas Raya who was the
preceptor of no less than six Vijayanagar Emperors, was so charmed by the rover
that he consecrated one of his by now
legendary 732 Hanuman temples on its bank and this is today the Gali Anjeneya
Temple is a landmark of and it is
visited by thousands of people every day, even it has not been spared the angst
of being bathed in Vrishabhavati during the rainy season. Unfortunately, the
Vrishabhavati at that point is nothing but a mass of poison, industrial
effluent, untreated chemicals, waste and raw sewage. It seems even God cannot
help our Vrishabhavati and this really seems ironical as Hanuman is the Monkey
God who could move mountains, fly across oceans and during a childish prank
alarm the Sun by trying to swallow it. But Bangaloreans have outdone this God
by bathing him regularly with sewage. Oh, God, what other instance of Urban
crassness carelessness is required, you may well ask, for not even having
spared God and his abode. Bangalore
The Vrishabhavati meandered through several villages such as Bhyremangala, Ittamadu, Chowkahalli, Shanamangala, Ramanahalili, Seshagirihalli, Gopalahalli and many other hamlets, giving free water to the people. Now, it can give only smell, disease and revulsion.
If the Vrishabhavati at the
is perhaps the
most despicable act of Bangaloreans, there is more shame to follow. Go down the
Temple Mysore Road
and at Bidadi take the road to Byremangala lake. This lake was constructed in
1940 at a distance of 30 kilometres from
to hold excess water from the Vrishabhavati. This water fed households and catered
to agricultural needs of a dozen
Walk down the bund of the lake and when you approach the sluice gates you will be stunned to see a frothing mass being discharged. This is the water that is being used to grow vegetables and which we now eat. Take a look at how the once beautiful water now sprays detergent and chemicals.
If this is not enough, take a look at the water almost opposite the course of the Vrishabhavati. This is the once clean Bellandur lake which catered to the needs of not only Bellandur but as many as sixteen villages just two decades ago. Today, the Bellandur lake foams so often that the sight is now more disgusting and disturbing than bizarre.
Once an integral part of Bellandur drainage system that drains the southern and the southeastern parts of the city, the water body today is almost dead and gone. The lake is a receptor from three chains of lakes upstream and it spread over a huge area. It has a catchment area of about 148 square kilometres (37,000 acres) falls over 41 wards of BBMP.
When Bellandur overflowed, water flowed east to the Varthur lake which is seven kms away, from where it flows down the plateau and eventually into the Pinakani river basin.
Just a decade ago, residents of Bellandur and visitors to the lake saw plenty of King Cobras and other wildlife like king fishers, parrots, parakeets, wood pigeons, kites, cobras, rat snakes and monitor lizards apart from hares, frogs, several species of fishes, ants, earthworms, all of which have now disappeared.
The only species of fish you can spot in the oily smelly water of the lakes is Tileapia and Catfish.
By the way, if you want to see the magnificent King Cobra in the wild, the best bet is Agumbe which is several hundred kilometers away. See just what urbanization has done to
. Not only has it
driven away water but t has also compelled the original King to migrate to
safer places. Is it worth paying such a price?. Bangalore
What is shocking is that more than 412 million litres of untreated sewage per day is being let into this lake and there seems to be no end in sight to this degradation.
Spread over 950 acres, this lake was the lifeline of scores of villages and till the 1908s supplied potable water to residents of Bellandur, Yamlur, Belur, Gunjur, Kudlu, Haralur, Aambalapura, Balagere, Nagasandra, Hanathuru, Devara Bisanahalli, Kadu Bisanahalli, Kempapura, Ramagondinahalli, Siddapura, Munne Kolalu, Kariyammana Agrahara and Bhoganahalli.
Now, it receives sewage from
Hulimavu, Doddbegur drain, , Tavarrrakere,
Bellandur and surrounding areas which then enter Varthur lake and further to
Kudlu, Kasavanhalli, Karalur, Parapnagar and Swalakeara lakes. Madivala
With a length of three kms and 2.75 kms in width, Bellandur is one of the largest man-made lakes in
South East Asia. Alas, what a fall to this water
Strangely, the decline of both the water bodies almost coincided and it all began in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This was when a prolonged drought in and around
dried up lakes and tanks beds and
an insensitive Government gave away these lands and civic agencies such as KHB
and BDA formed layouts and sites. Bangalore