Mangaluru, Apr 16, 2015: As recently reported here, State government has started cleaning the Gujjarakere, an old lake between Jeppu market, Morgan’s Gate and Mphasis, now a residential area, for the third time in in the last 9 years, even now people in the area allege that sewage continues to flow in to the lake. People question the government’s decision to clean it up again without plugging the flow of sewage, which they say is mainly responsible for the growth of hyacinth and water contamination.
The lake had been cleaned of hyacinth and silt in 2002 and 2009, when a concrete tank bund was constructed as part of the lake rejuvenation drive. Hyacinth is being removed in the lake for one month with authorities allegedly doing little to prevent seepage of sewage. ’ Gujjarakere Theertha Samrakshana Vedike’, ha been fighting for the restoration of the lake that is spread over 3.5 acres. Restoration is needed to improve the quality of groundwater in the area.
The residents insisted on action being taken to prevent seepage in front of Superintending Engineer (Minor Irrigation) Suresh Babu on April 15, during an inspection of the works.
Neemu Kottari of the vedike said the sewage seeping in must be first stopped. Superintending Engineer stated that it was a long process as it involved shifting the sewage line. He told residents that for the time being they would block the portion of space from where sewage was seeping into the lake. But residents did not favour the idea.
The Minor Irrigation Department had taken up cleaning of hyacinth and removing silt from the lake in 2002. Following agitation by the vedike, the Bharatiya Janata Party government allotted Rs. 2 crore to the Mangaluru City Corporation to restore the lake. An amount of Rs. 25 lakh had been allotted to beautify the tank bund areas where, among other, a jogging track with inter-locking tiles was to come up.
A few weeks after the completion of the work, a portion of the tank bund came down and hyacinth grew thick and fast in the lake. MLA J.R. Lobo has now taken up the case of restoration of the lake for which the State Government has allotted Rs. 1 crore.