Greens raise concern about water springs inside lake being damaged by earth-movers
Mysuru: The heritage lake of Devikere atop the Chamundi Hill is in the process of getting a complete makeover and it is being developed at a cost of Rs. 7.5 crore. Earth-movers have begun removing metres of silt from the Lake as the accumulated mud has not been removed for more than 60 years.
The funds for the works have been released by the Sri Chamundeshwari Temple Management Committee out of the Temple funds and the Lake development works are being undertaken by the Minor Irrigation Department.
However, environmental activists have objected to the works as using earth-movers to remove silt will damage the water springs of the Lake and ultimately, the water body might go dry. They have termed the Devikere development works unscientific as water conservationists have not been consulted before taking up the works of a historical water body.
“Devikere was built by the Wadiyars to safeguard the environment and the Chamundi Hill so that rainwater can collect there and there are many natural springs in the water body. All of a sudden, earth-movers have started work without even conducting a detailed study of the water sources. There is a threat to both the Chamundi Hill and the Devikere,” said an environment activist.
Allaying fears, Chamundi Hill Temple Executive Officer Govindaraju said that the Devikere will be comprehensively developed and the first process is to remove the silt.
“Huge silt has been deposited in the Devikere and it has not been removed for over 60 years. Also, the Lake is associated deeply with the sentiments of people and devotees as the annual Theppotsava is held here. As a first step, we have drained water from the Devikere with pumps to Uthanahalli Lake and have commenced the silt removal process,” he said.
Apart from silt accumulation, the water had turned muddy and some of the sewage was entering the water body through inlets. “We will stop the entry of the sewage and this is crucial as the water is drawn from the Devikere for puja purposes at the Temple. It will be an end-to-end rejuvenation and we have already prepared a blueprint where a concrete bund with entry and exit points will be constructed to strengthen the boundaries,” Govindaraju explained.
Also, facilities will be made to drain excess water naturally in case it rains heavily and if the Lake becomes full. Now the bund bursts and as a result, the border stones have become unstable and cannot withstand pressure. Facilities will be made for the devotees to draw the holy water from the Lake and cleanliness will be ensured, he added.
The development works will be completed before the next rainy season, Govindaraju added. In addition to the works at Devikere, a solid waste management plant will be built at a cost of Rs. 76 lakh. The Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) has sanctioned Rs. 6 crore to provide drinking water and this work is also under progress.
“The Public Works Department (PWD) has completed the works of a food zone and 156 shops at a cost of Rs. 3.80 crore and here too, Temple funds have been sanctioned while the works have been completed by the PWD,” he said.
By M.T. Yogesh Kumar