ENVIS Technical Report: 101,  January 2016

Ramachandra T.V.                Asulabha K. S.                Sincy V.                Sudarshan P Bhat               Bharath H. Aithal

Energy and Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560012, India.
*Corresponding author: cestvr@ces.iisc.ernet.in

Immediate policy interventions are essential to protect the lakes from further deterioration, which include:

  1. Maintenance of 30 m buffer around the lake (with regulated activities)
  2. Mapping of lake boundary and demarcation of lake boundary (based on flood plains), buffer region and valley regions in each valley.
  3. Ensure proper fencing of lakes
  4. Removal of all encroachments in the lake bed after the survey based on reliable cadastral maps
  5. Re-establishing interconnectivity among lakes (removal of all encroachments)
  6. Threshold on high raise building in the region. Need to protect valley zones considering ecological function and these regions are ‘NO DEVELOPMENT ZONES’ as per CDP 2005, 2015
  7. Digitization of land records (especially common lands – lakes, open spaces, parks, etc.) and availability of this geo-referenced data with query based information system to public
  8. Any alteration of topography in lake catchments should be banned
  9. Complete ban on construction activities in the valley zones
  10. Restrictions on the diversion of lakes for any other purposes
  11. Regulate illegal sand and clay mining around the wetlands
  12. Restrictions on dumping solid and liquid wastes in lakes and lake bed.
  13. Restrictions on letting untreated sewage into lakes
  14. Allow only treated wastewater (sewage and effluents) into the lake
  15. Implementation of ‘polluter pays’ principle as per Water Act, 1974
  16. Banning of filling of a portion of lake with building debris
  17. Impact of pesticide or fertiliser on wetlands need to be checked
  18. Water in the lake must be cleaned or drained completely, if necessary
  19. Plant native species of macrophytes in open spaces of lake catchment area
  20. Regular harvesting/removal of macrophytes in the lakes like Eichhornia sp., Typha sp., Alternanthera sp. etc. through manual operations
  21. Treatment of wastewater through constructed wetlands and algal ponds (similar to Jakkur lake). Constructed wetlands with shallow algal ponds helps in the removal of nutrients
  22. All the settlements alongside the lake should be provided with proper sanitation facilities so as to avoid open defecation
  23. The shorelines of the lakes should be lined with bricks or stones to control shoreline erosion
  24. Afforestation with native species in the areas around wetlands (catchment area) to control the entry of silt through runoff
  25. Dredging of the sediments in the lake has to be done to improve the soil permeability, water holding capacity and ground water recharge. Wet dredging is applicable to lakes
  26. Adopt techniques like biomanipulation (Silver carp, Catla, Rohu , Gambusia and Guppies for algal and mosquito control), aeration, shoreline restoration (with the native vegetation) in the management of lakes
  27. Single agency with the statutory and financial autonomy to be the custodian of natural resources (ownership, regular maintenance and action against polluters (encroachers as well as those who contaminate through untreated sewage and effluents, dumping of solid wastes)
  28. The MSWM (Municipal Solid Waste Management) problem has increased with rapid urbanisation. The public and agencies should follow the Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 to keep the environment clean and to safeguard the health of individuals.
  29. Decentralized treatment of wastes generated in each ward, ensure proper functioning of STPs
  30. Restore surviving lakes in urban areas strengthening their catchment area
  31. Environmental awareness programmes can greatly help in the protection of the water bodies.