ARANYA BHAVAN: A study conducted by the Environment Management and Policy Research Institute (EMPRI) warns against the potential health risks to human lives as it has found a majority of the water bodies in Mysuru and Nanjangud contaminated.
The EMPRI report ‘Evolving Sustainable Conservation Strategies for Water bodies of Mysuru-Nanjangud Local Planning Area’, released here at Aranya Bhavan on Thursday, states that a majority of the water bodies are affected due to encroachment, unabated inflow of sewage and dumping of solid waste.
It recommends checking discharge of effluents to water bodies and calls for immediate attention to conserve the water bodies.
The EMPRI, which functions under the Development of Forests, Ecology and Environment, has carried out a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) Analysis in Parasaiahana Kere in Chamundi Hill village, Lingambudi Lake, Kukkarahalli Lake, Kunteri Lake in Kalale village and Huskur Nanjana Lake at Devirammanahalli village in Nanjangud taluk. The water in these lakes, experts found, was contaminated due to anthropogenic and development activities and open defecation among other reasons.
The study suggested reduction of anthropogenic pressures in these lakes and to restore and conserve the lakes by seeking co-operation from the people and also by motivating the citizens about the importance and benefits of maintaining the lakes.
The study has found that 25 percent of the water bodies had undergone changes caused due to development activities in Mysuru taluk alone while it has found 10 percent changes for agricultural purposes, open defecation and agricultural runoff in Nanjangud.
The study has also observed that the continuous discharge of sewage and dumping of solid waste were the two key factors that were contributing to the degradation of the water bodies.
According to the study, presently, there was no underground drainage system in Nanjangud town and this was also one of the reasons for the water bodies getting contaminated as the sewage water in open areas finds its way to low-lying areas such as lakes, canals and drains.
The study observed that Mysuru and Nanjangud cities have no scientific landfill conforming to the Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules, 2000 and thus a lack of proper management of solid waste has been posing a threat to the environment.
The experts mentioned that the process of lake conservation and rejuvenation was a slow process that may require sustained efforts over a long period of time with continuous monitoring, repeated data collection, regulation of encroachment and pollution analysis with appropriate action. The conservation strategies suggested are lake-land protection, pollution control, lake restoration, community participation and legal framework.
The study also suggested that a holistic plan needs to be prepared and implemented on a war-footing based on the scientific inputs provided by environmentalists and conservation experts. The experts have also invited environment institutions to advise, monitor and execute conservation strategies to free lakes from dumping garbage and building debris, discharge of effluents and to restore water quality.
The study concluded suggesting the need to educate young people regarding measures to save water bodies so as to preserve the earth.