Prelims level : Environment Mains level : Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
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Why in News:

  • Bellandur Lake, the city’s most polluted waterbody, is drying up. In the past few days, the water level has reduced with the lakebed being visible in some places

Why the lake count has started to decrease?

  • The terrain on which Bengaluru is situated allowed for the natural formation of lakes. These lakes, were at one time, the main sources of water for the city.
  • The essential nature of lakes to life has even gave rise to development of a sacred practice called Karaga. The
  • city has lost an estimated 79% of water bodies and 80% of its tree cover from the baseline year of 1973. As the city grew, it faced a dilemma. If the additional population was to be accommodated, it would require more land. If it decides to protect all its lakes, it must expand far beyond its already extensive boundaries, thereby hurting the interests of farming. In this context, the city chose to hurt the lake beds instead.

What did the state government do?

  • Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) is currently the custodian of the water body for its rejuvenation.
  • But BDA feels that there is no point in restoring a lake if sewage water  is not stopped entering the lake.
  • Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board is in charge of diversion of sewage water, which clearly it has not been able to do.
  • Meanwhile, the response of the state government too has been piecemeal.
  • But without addressing the question of how many lakes a modern city could sustain, they typically will end up with policies that are considered impractical by those who see cities as engines of growth.
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