Amid reports of an improved environment due to the COVID-19 lockdown, Friday saw the results of government apathy over the state of rivers around the city of Bengaluru, known as India's IT hub.
Bengaluru witnessed the sight and stench of tonnes of dead fishes floating on the Kommaghatta Lake. In a video, a local fisherman can be seen clearing a heap of fish on the water through a raft.
Tons of fishes dead and floating all over 35 acres of kommaghatta lake in India's IT hub #Bengaluru. The water of the lake poisoned due to uninterrupted flow of chemicals for past few years. pic.twitter.com/4kYt2ANO5o— Rishikesh Kumar (@rishhikesh) May 29, 2020
Local residents said that such incidents have occurred previously but that the authorities failed to take action.
“Earlier, the lake was visited by a lot of people but now with the local factories dumping their toxic and industrial waste into the lake, the number of visitors has dropped significantly. The foul smell lingers all the day making it difficult for the villagers to even breathe,” Pankhuri NS, a resident of Kengeri village situated along the lake said.
Bengaluru has witnessed widespread protests due to the polluted lake. In March 2018, after hundreds of fish were found floating in Puttenahalli lake, the local authorities recommended that aerators be installed to increase Dissolved Oxygen (DO) levels in the lake. Environmentalists have accused the government of not taking stronger action against industries which discharge raw sewage into the lake causing low oxygen levels in the water.