The Diverting History of a Doleful LakeApril 25, 2017
Lovely Lake Bellandur, I know that others have not been fair to you. But what did I do to you that you are driving me insane?
Dear Reader, some weeks ago, I was assigned by Berean Bay Media House, to do this piece on the changing waves of Bellandur Lake. I went about enthusiastically researching right through the fire and foam, to the lake bouncing back, to restoration. There was some hope, I was told, for the restoration of the lake with an ambitious model that included using the sewage dumped in the lake to generate water, power, and fuel that could meet the needs of the ever-growing city and its neighboring districts. I was happy with what I did … until a few days later, there were fresh developments, then a week later something new, and so on and on, until my story got turned and twisted out of shape and I began to foam.
One writes a ballad!
Here it is, with due apologies to The Diverting History of John Gilpin (hats off, William Cowper) — ‘The diverting history of Lake Bellandur’ to facilitate the quickest comprehension ever of Bangalore’s never-ending saga of suffering.
Read, smile, weep, foam, and cry – it’s all yours:
Ballad of Bellandur
“Our lake, our lake, our lake is on fire”
Cried people of Bellandur, all filled with ire.
Until one, two, three global esquire
Said pots of prosperity lay in the mire.
It was the beginning of hope so sweet
Mantri ShivKumar revealed in a tweet,
He would not allow Bellandur go obsolete
Mire would produce both energy & heat.
MD Girotra brought in a strange new taste
He would set up miracle plants to treat the waste
Sewage would be transformed into water chaste
Plus generate bijli in several states.
There came an explosion and an angry spree
Not for nothing is the Tribunal called NGT,
“STOP the sewage” came the ‘order’ in April week three,
To KLDCA, the concerned Authority.
NGT boomed, “How dare you cause fire to your lake”
So wild, it was set to do whatever it would take,
To give KLDCA more than just shiver or shake
All in Bellandur could feel the Tribunal quake.
“Within ONE month” was the deadline quote
What had got angry NGT’s goat,
Was that nothing was done after the Feb fire smote
Tight slap Tribunal took up the case suo-mot(o)
Overnight Bellandur turned crazy busy ground
First step, build a 20-foot fence around
To stop the foam going outbound
Alas, toxic fumes burnt the fence like noises in a swound
“Close all industries near the lake!” said NGT in a rage
Against the ones that polluted the stage
KLDCA would at last have to earn its wage
No more choice but to come of age
Wakeup call woke up government sleepyheads
BDA and KSIIDC alerted their watersheds
Now all want to be part of revival threads
Each comes rushing in with impressive creds.
Those dumping untreated waste in the lake will be fined
The 5-lac penalty boggles the mind
Considering all that is involved in the grind
Has NGT the deadline correctly timed?
Sewage from all sources as NGT should know
Has nowhere but to the lake to go
Will the Tribunal not reduce the blow
Knowing the treatment plants move ever so slow.
BBMP has brought CCTV cameras all of seven
The plan to bring to book all uncouth bevan
Hoardings and displays to warn the levan
Further rape of the lake will not please heaven.
Sigh. Imagine this time of great stress and press
Someone’s gotta to be blamed for this mess
Since next year will bring in the election chess
The neck in the noose is of the poor Cong-ress
Report by Anupama G.S
Ballad by Ingrid Albuquerque