• Lack of rains, blockage of Rajakaluves from Chamundi Hill result in less storage level
• Meeting with Pollution Control Board tomorrow to draw treated sewage water
Mysuru: Even as the surroundings of Mysuru, including Nanjangud, Hunsur, Kollegal, H.D. Kote and a few parts of Mandya, are flooded thanks to heavy discharge of water from KRS and Kabini Reservoirs, the iconic Karanji Lake maintained by Mysuru Zoo is yet to be full. Reason: Insufficient rainfall in the heart of the city and Chamundi Hill.
The Lake, with its pristine beauty and a rich and rare biodiversity, is loved by Mysureans. It is a good example of wetland ecosystem and is a home to many local and migratory birds. Karanji Lake had gone bone dry this year even before the onset of summer and even in the month of August, the Lake is not full.
Mysuru city has a shortfall of 33 percent rainfall and since the last one week, only 22mm rain has been recorded. Whatever rain that has lashed the city so far has been absorbed by the ground and there is no water above the ground level. The Karanji Lake had overflowed 15 or 16 years back and crocodiles from the Lake had entered Siddhartha Layout and surrounding areas. Since then, it has never overflowed. The Lake recorded its full capacity three years back but there was no overflowing.
This year, the Karanji Lake was desilted in two islands in a scientific manner without causing any damage to the environment. While regular desilting left the earth gaping, the Lake was desilted in such a way that the wetland was retained and only the central part is dug up. This process is called ‘drawdown method’ where water is retained at the centre and also at the sides.
After desilting, Zoo authorities were waiting for the rains for the Lake to fill up but so far, they have not seen any success due to scanty rainfall. The major source of water for the Lake is rain water from Chamundi Hill. As rainfall is scanty, there is limited water flow from the Hill. Also, several new layouts and private properties have come up on the foothills of Chamundi and they are blocking the Rajakaluves that bring water from the Hill to the Lake.
Zoo Executive Director Ajit M. Kulkarni told Star of Mysore that while certain blockages of Rajakaluves have been cleared, there are still more to be cleared as private layouts have dug up the earth to construct buildings and fences, blocking the natural flow of water from the Chamundi Hill.
Meeting with KSPCB
“There is a proposal to draw treated sewage water from the Mysuru City Corporation’s Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) located at Vidyaranyapuram. The water will be brought to the foothills of Chamundi and from there it will naturally flow towards the Karanji Lake through Rajakaluves. We have written a letter to Karnataka Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) in this regard and we have a meeting with KSPCB in Bengaluru on Aug.13 to discuss the issue,” he said.
The STP in Vidyaranyapuram supplies treated water to Race Club and Golf Course to irrigate lawns. At present, sewage collected at the STP, after being treated, is discharged into storm water drain. “We have sent water samples to KSPCB to certify that the treated sewage does not cause any harm to the Lake ecosystem. KSPCB will also certify oxygen and chemical levels in treated water,” Kulkarni said.
Water to be fed
Pipes will be laid to cover the 5 km distance from Vidyaranyapuram STP till the foothills of Chamundi. From there, water will be fed to Rajakaluves and the same will reach the Lake naturally as the water travels a distance of about two-and-a-half kms, he explained. For the Rajakaluves to carry water, a green space will have to be created along the path and the Zoo Authority will cover the area with plants and algae for natural flow of water. “In this process, the treated water will get naturally filtered before it reaches the Lake,” he said.