BENGALURU: In a little over a year, the dead Kannamangala Lake in Bengaluru East taluk has been given a new lease of life. Spread over 18 acres, the lake brims with pristine water and 36 species of birds call the lake home. The revival of the lake is a prime example of what can be accomplished when the government and people work hand-in-hand.
The Kannamangala Panchayat, FORCE-GW (Federation of Resident Welfare Associations, Communities and Establishments of Greater Whitefield) and the Mahadevapura Task Force, a group formed in November 2018 by Mahadevapura MLA Arvind Limbavalli, are behind for this transformation.
Lingaraj Urs, Panchayat Member and founder and president of FORCE-GW told The New Indian Express that the revival process started in July last year. “After the panchayat decided to revive the lake, the first task was to remove 400 tonnes of garbage that had been tossed into the water body by locals since August.
The garbage mound formed was 30 feet tall and some of it had gone nearly 6 feet below the ground as well. Mechanised equipment had to be used for three months to remove it,” Urs recalls. The garbage had to be transported to Doddaballapur, where the BBMP gave them permission to dispose it off.
A survey was taken of the lake and encroachments were removed with both Limbavalli and Bengaluru Central MP PC Mohan goading the locals to offer full co-operation. The Revenue Department fenced the lake fully. “So far, a sum of Rs 60 lakh has been spent for rejuvenating the lake with Limbavalli offering us Rs 25 lakh, while members of many gated communities in the area have been donating generously, “ Urs said.
Today, the lake can hold up to 9 crore litres of water and lab tests have revealed that the water quality is good. “The groundwater levels which had gone down to 2,000 feet have now surged to 400 to 500 feet,” he said.
The lake has been handed over to FORCE-GW in 2019 for a five-year period. One of the association’s members, dentist Dr P R Jyothi, said, “Nearly 5,000 saplings, including two miyawakis (Japanese form of plantation) have been created. We also put in place islands so that birds can come over,” she said.
work to improve lake continues
FFORCE-GW members continue to meet for over two hours every weekend to chart out plans to continuously improve the lake. “We hold breakfast meetings with different communities, organise lake walks extending to 1.5 km and educate all on the need to improve the lake,” says FORCE-GW member Dr P R Jyothi.