Drive launched to clean up the water body as soon as possible
The pond inside Cubbon Park that used to attract a lot of visitors is now in a poor condition. The water body has become a pool filled with algae, prompting park authorities to launch a clean-up.
The pond, which is amid bamboo trees, has turned green due to the algae. Visitors informed The Observer that they often see people throwing garbage into the poorly maintained lake. It has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Environmentalist Akshay Heblikar, director of Eco-Watch, said: “The problem with lakes and ponds in urban areas is that people do not depend on them as sources of water. As a result, they don’t think twice before polluting them. They don’t think before pouring sewage into lakes and ponds. In rural areas, people depend on these water bodies for various reasons, so they try not to pollute them.
“The algae formed on these ponds not only pollute the water but also affect marine animals living underneath. It is killing them.”
Sombrita Dutta, a regular visitor to the park, said: “Every time I see this pond, I see plastic cups and chips packet floating on its surface. The pond is not cleaned regularly.”
The horticulture department has joined hands with Cubbon Park authorities to clean up the pond and prevent it from getting polluted again. An official from the department said: “We plan to clean up the lake as soon as possible. We have got contractors who will clean up the lake as well as clear out the dried bamboo plants. Once it is done, we will try the pond is not polluted again.”
The Observer saw workers removing the algae and throwing garbage out of the pond. Anil Kumar, one of the contract workers, shared: “There is a lot of algae in the lake. It will take time before we finally get to see the clear water. The water smells bad too.”
Megha Singh, a visitor to the park, said: “The pond is looking terrible. If people continue to throw garbage into it, they should not be allowed to enter the park.”
The water has started to dry up. The quantity of algae present in the lake clearly indicates that no marine animal living beneath the water will have access to oxygen. Leaves from trees fall into the lake and clog it.
According to the 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….”
Heblikar noted: “Bengaluru had some 1,000 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 an increase in population, people have started encroaching on lakes and ponds. Tonnes of waste is created every day. Most of it is received by water bodies.”