The Diverting History of a Doleful Lake

April 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.

How does one do worthy coverage on a story that changes with every sunrise?

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

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