The century-old Nallurahalli lake, located near Whitefield, shrinks every night. When residents go to sleep, truckloads of debris and sacks full of garbage and slaughterhouse waste are dumped into the water.
The original size of the water body and the extent of encroachment are not clear.
Alarmed over the late-night dumping, villagers fighting to get encroach ments cleared now have the support of citizen’s movement Whitefield Rising. “Only 60% of the lake is visible, thanks to encroachments.
The entire sewage of the Export Promotion Industrial Park is let out into it, apart from late-night dumping,” said Srinivasa Reddy, an entrepreneur working with Nallurahalli Rising, an offshoot of Whitefield Rising.
The Whitefield Export Promotion Park Industrial Association denied the charge. “All individual companies have their own sewage treatment plants and the treated water is used for internal purposes. The only water being let out is rainwater,” its manager Niranjan Kirvadi said.
Chicken vendors are dumping waste into the lake as civic authorities refuse to collect slaughterhouse residue, said Anupam Mahapatra, an IT professional whose apartment faces the lake. “We got it cleared twice but there’s only so much we can do about late-night dumping.” Nallurahalli villagers have been running pillar to post to get revenue authorities to act.”We were busy with the BBMP elections. Information on the lake is being collected,” is all Bengaluru North Assistant Commissioner N Mahesh Babu said.
The lake finds mention in a 1903 map of the village, ecologist Harini Nagendra of Azim Premji University said. “During our work on the lake, testimonials from villagers indicated that it dates back to the 1898 plague,” he said. In an independent study, she found that the Nallurahalli lake “appears to be significantly encroached o the north… with the dumping of solid waste and construction debris blocking some of the canals.”
About four km away is the Varthur lake, which continues to receive “the entire junk of the city’s north,” says Thomas Joseph, a WHO consultant actively working to restore the lake.
Upa Lokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi, whose direction early this year to get the lake surveyed was not carried out, told ET that he is awaiting the report of the House panel on encroachment of lakes. Late-night dumping, Justice Adi admitted, is difficult to curb. “There’s not enough civic manpower to keep watch,” he said.