Mangaluru, Nov 17,2016: Reports state that Gujjara Kere, a prominent water body near Jeppu market, which is crying for rejuvenation since a decade, has finally got the attention of the government to prevent its contamination from sewage. Gujjara Kere Tirtha Samrakshana Vedike, an action committee to save it, has been fighting since a decade to prevent seepage of sewage and maintain the lake clean.
Now, the Mangaluru City Corporation Council has agreed to replace the old sewage lines surrounding the water body and has given approval to four projects in this connection. Aquatic weeds, mainly water hyacinth, have grown in the water body now. It is mainly because the sewage water from leaking manholes surrounding the lake enters the water body, said P. Nemu Kottari, secretary, Gujjara Kere Tirtha Samrakshana Vedike.
K.R. Chandrashekar, Professor, Department of Applied Botany, Mangalore University, said that the sewage water contained organic substances and heavy metal on which water hyacinth thrived.
Water hyacinth had the special ability to absorb heavy metal. Of the projects approved are the laying of a new underground sewage line from Arekerebail to Mulihitlu at an estimated cost of Rs. 67 lakh; from Jeppu Market to Mangalamba Katte via Gujjara Kere Main Road at a cost of Rs. 72 lakh; constructing the line from Karnataka Bank, Bolara, to Noufal apartment at a cost of Rs. 79 lakh and building the line from Dasappa Shetty Compound to Arakere Katte which would cost Rs. 80 lakh. The council has agreed to invite bids for taking up the projects.
According to the MCC, the new lines would be laid to bear the sewage load taking into account the development in the area in the next 30 years. The old lines now have lost carrying capacity and hence, sewage overflowing out of manholes.
According to Secretary Kottari, the MCC, has so far spent about Rs. 3 crore to develop the lake. It included removing silt to some extent and constructing retaining walls. But unless sewage flow into the water body is plugged, the lake cannot be maintained clean.
Kottari said that if there is clean water in the lake, it could be supplied to many wards in the south of the city during summer after treating it. Water storage in the lake helped recharge groundwater.