Stench from Ullal Lake hits shopkeepers' business

The shopkeepers have seen a steady fall in sales due to the stench from the Ullal Lake.

The immersion tank is strewn with Ganesha idols and religious artifacts.

Bangalore, November 20, 2017: The shopkeepers around Ullal Lake, near Jnanabharathi, have seen a fall in revenue since the lake began to stink one month back. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the local civic body, is laying pipelines in the lake for the transfer of sewage from a storm water drain. Shopkeepers say that their business has taken a hit due to the stench arising from the sewage.

Choudhary, the owner of Chandan Hardware and Electrical said, “The business is dull. I have seen a 20 per cent decline. The customers complain that the shop stinks. I have to tell them it is the lake which stinks and not my shop.” He added that the constant stink gives him a headache too.

Another shopkeeper, Kishan Gujar, owner of Malleshwara Traders, said his sales had reduced by 50 per cent. He added there has been a decrease in the number of people who come for a morning walk in the lake premises. He added people have to cover their nose if they have to sit near the lake. Moreover, the immersion tank of the lake is strewn with Ganesha idols and religious artifacts.   

Ravi Kumar, a customer who works at a pharmaceutical company, said that his visits to the tea stall outside the lake have become less frequent due to the stench. Shivakumar, owner of Saras Complex, a building right across the lake, said, “BBMP does not take work seriously. The pipework should have been complete by now. Even Bangalore Development Authority (BDA)  workers come for inspection but do nothing about it.” He mentioned that the number of people who would come to breathe fresh air around the lake between 5 to 6.30 pm has reduced.

BBMP has allocated Rs. 3 crore for the development of the lake. Usha, Assistant Executive Engineer, BBMP lakes, said, “The pipeline work was slowed due to rains. But now we have picked up pace. For the cleaning of the immersion tank, we have written to the BDA.”

The dumping of sewage is a recurring problem in the lake. Ankit Agarwal, an environmentalist, explained, “Sewage should not be directly discharged into any water body because it can lead to ecological losses along with the said economic losses. The solution is to let the waste pass through a sewage treatment plant, if at all it has to be dumped into the lake.”

BDA had spent Rs. 4 crore on maintaining the lake in 2013 and then abandoned it. The lake was then transferred to BBMP. The lake was in news recently when Karnataka law minister TB Jayachandra was named in an encroachment case regarding the lake land.


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