The Gujjarakere Lake has been rejuvenated, but still, the water remains unfit to be consumed by humans.
P Nemu Kothari, secretary of Gujjarakere Thirtha Samrakshana Vedike, had submitted the lake water to the College of Fisheries for analysis twice: once in July 2021 and again in April this year. While the total coliform count and faecal coliform content were both 300 per 100 ml of water in 2021, the total coliform count abnormally rose to 1,600 per 100 ml of water on April 29 while the faecal coliform count remained at 300.
He told that no steps had been taken to purify the lake water, even after it had been rejuvenated. The total coliform count in the water sample was found to have increased even after the dredging. These reports are cause for concern, said Kottari.
Gujjarakere was once a source of drinking water and was associated with religious rituals at the Mangaladevi and Marigudi temples. “We want the authorities to restore its significance,” said Kottari.
At a cost of approximately Rs 3.74 crore, Mangaluru Smart City Limited (MSCL) undertook the revitalization of Gujjarakere, which has a history of more than 1800 years. Mayor Premanand Shetty stated that efforts are being made to purify the lake on a priority basis. Identifying the pollutant source has been a challenge. Oxy aerators will be installed at the cost of Rs 35 lakh. The work has been tendered and is set to begin immediately. MSCL general manager Arun Prabha stated that pre-fabrication work is currently underway. The commissioning is expected to happen by the month-end.