Bengaluru: Now drone to keep eye on polluted Varthur Lake too

Bengaluru: After the frothing and foaming Bellandur Lake, the catchment area of the almost identically polluted Varthur Lake will also now be monitored by a drone. Senior technical adviser, solid waste management, BBMP,  N.K. Purohith says  he is awaiting clearance to deploy another drone for Varthur lake. 

The BBMP has been using a drone to keep watch over Bellandur after fires broke out on its fringes earlier this year to make sure that they  are  not being deliberately set. The drone covers 5 kms at a stretch and its pictures are analysed by the BBMP. It is flown once a fortnight as the lake is close to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and flying it more often could be seen as a  security risk, according to BBMP officials. 

Mr Purohith explains that weather conditions like humidity and rain are taken into account  before flying the drone. “The drone has not caught anyone trying to encroach on the lake  and after the deputation of the lake marshals things have got better,” he says.

The marshals who are ex-servicemen, have also been deployed to keep an eye on the lake to prevent people from dumping their garbage and sewage into it, adding to its pollution.  While those living around Bellandur lake say they are happy to have the  marshals guarding it, they lament that the lake isn’t looking any better despite the promises made by the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr G Parameshwar. 

“Although the lake marshals are doing a great job, deweeding and desilting of the lake is still not happening,” regrets Ms Sonali Singh, a resident of the area and a lake activist, however, applauding the lake marshals for keeping vigil round- the -clock. 

Head marshal, Col. Basavaraj G (retd.), says his team has prevented over 20  cases of illegal activity near the lake since they were deployed in February. 

“We have been able to stop vehicles dumping garbage into the lake and so on. With the word spreading quickly, such attempts have come down drastically,” he reveals, urging the people of the area to inform him on Whatsapp  if they see any dumping of garbage or any other pollutant into Bellandur. 

“We have been authorised to inform the police in extreme cases, but have not come across any so far. The hutments in the buffer zone have been removed,” the colonel adds. 

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