Yet again, Bengaluru’s biggest lake is in the news and for all the wrong reasons. In what has now become a tragic tradition, the lake has once again caught on fire. And as a result, it is now spewing dangerous and toxic fumes into the atmosphere.
The latest development has left residents of the city demanding immediate action from the government to clean up the lake that has long been subjected to pollution.
Even prominent personalities like Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman and Managing Director of Biocon, took to Twitter to express her outrage at the turn of the events.
— Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (@kiranshaw) February 17, 2017
For a while now, one resident, Sanchita Jha, a techie in the city, has taken it upon herself to crusade for the cause of the Bellandur lake.
Through a Change.org petition, she has demanded that the state government and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah respond to the situation immediately as the city sits on the cusp of a crisis.
Image source: Twitter
The petition, which has been signed by over 46,000 people, states, “The Bellandur Lake is spilling over with toxic froth that is overflowing onto neighbouring roads and is poisoning people…If this is not fixed immediately, Bangalore’s biggest lake will go on to become India’s biggest biohazard.”
For Sanchita, the cause hit close to home as she would cross the lake often during her commute to work. “I started the petition last year because I just felt so frustrated. Because I used to see the froth coming out the lake while going to work, I had written emails to nearly every minister and official I could think of. But I did not hear back from them and hence the petition came to life.”
While innocuous at first, the petition went viral quickly with thousands signing up. Today it needs only 3,544 more signatures to reach its intended goal of 50,000 signatures, post which it would be delivered to the chief minister of Karnataka.
Realising that the campaign had found legs of its own, Sanchita also started a Facebook group to mobilise supporters of the cause to force a response from the government.
Photo source: Twitter
“We started a Twitter campaign wherein we would bombard both Bengaluru Development Minister K J George and the chief minister with Tweets demanding a response. Finally the chief minister replied noting that he would be directing resources to look into the problem.”
The group also met with K J George who promised to take it forward. Most recently the state government accepted the proposal of the 18-member expert committee to restore the Bellandur and Varthur lakes.
And yet, as fumes from the lake overwhelm the city’s skyline, Sanchita wants the government to act fast, before it’s too late.
“We want to know what’s in the proposal. Also, it’s important for the government to conduct an inspection the lake. We should know what kind of pollutants and chemicals exist in that lake.”
And hopefully the beloved lake is restored back to its beauty from its heyday.
To sign the petition, click here