Friday, Apr 18, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
When the lake is ready to receive water from the summer showers due in May and from the regular monsoon afterwards, it will have more storage capacity. Before the removal of silt, the lake had a capacity of storing 600 million litres of water and this is likely to increase to 11,000 million litres.
The average depth of the lake will also increase from 1.5 metres to 2.5 metres and at some spots the lake will be as deep as 4.5 metres. The biggest challenge for Shymaraju and Co., contracted by the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike for the lake restoration work, was removing 4,15,000 cubic metres of silt from the lake bed. Already 4,00,000 cubic metres of silt have been removed, according to the Mahanagara Palike engineers supervising the work. This was possible because the contractors used three times the machinery required in the tender, including two articulated haulers imported from Singapore.
Care has been taken to prevent silt and waste flowing into the lake after it fills up. Storm water drains coming from J.C.Nagar, Doddakunte and Assaye Road bring water into the lake. Silt traps and screen barriers are being installed at the mouth of the storm water inlets. The traps will prevent fresh silt getting into the lake and screen barriers will trap other waste, including plastics and other non-biodegradables. The traps and barriers have to be cleaned periodically.
In addition, the lake itself will have a sedimentation tank where the silt will settle down before the water flows into the lake. The entire bank of the lake, except the area used by the MEG, is to be protected by chain-link fencing to prevent people dumping refuse into the lake.
The underground sewages lines from the eastern part of the City have been diverted by the BWSSB. The sewage will now flow through 900 mm pipes to the sewage lines at Shivajinagar and bypass the lake, going under the 2.8-km jogging track on the lake bund. Effluents from tanneries and slaughterhouses are also being diverted. Aquatic life will be restored with fish, which were natural to the lake, and suitable water plants introduced.
The park near the MEG side is being spruced up by the Horticulture Department and swimming pool by the Mahanagara Palike. While the lake is to be mostly filled by the next monsoon, the second monsoon rainfall early winter may complete that job.
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