Mestripalya lake has constantly been in the news. After Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) took the initiative to fence it in May, another glimmer of hope came through last Friday when a bhoomi puja was conducted for it.
The lake, having gone through immense tussles with the authorities and real estate sharks, seems to be awaiting a new lease of life, albeit in phases, thanks to efforts by Citizen’s Action Forum (CAF) formed by residents of Koramangala.
Vijayan Menon, a CAF member, said, “Over the years, a number of appointed officials and elected representatives, along with citizens of Koramangala played a major role in reviving the lake. Finally, we have tasted victory with the lake bed now officially being marked as protected land.”
The work, estimated to cost over Rs 1.75 crore, will be based on a Detailed Project Report (DPR) developed by the BDA and Lake Development Authority using inputs furnished by Koramangala citizens.
“Our basic plan for the lake emphasises on restoring it to its natural state and not creating, as far as possible, an artificial water body. We want nine acres of the lake bed to be ecologically sustainable with 60 per cent being filled with water and rest being developed as a green space,” said Menon.
The concept has been presented to BDA, and, according to Vijay, it could find positive results because of help from the area's MLA Rajeev Chandrashekar.
He also stressed that the project will take, at least, six months for results to show. “Koramangala is left with two per cent of open area when the need is for 10 per cent. In the midst of this concrete jungle, this nine-acre spot of open space will prove to be an attraction. We have to plant trees that attract birds. We want rejuvenation of the lake to take into account flora, fauna and natural landscaping, and our plans focus on that,” said Menon.
Currently, three government bodies have started their work on the project. “The BDA is the leading agency, BBMP will be responsible for clearing waste water and BWSSB will divert sewage lines away from the lake. It will take six to eight months to restore the lake, and for the whole area to go green, two to three years,” Menon said.
Though residents of Koramangala will keep a close watch on the project as it proceeds, they have employed engineers, environmental experts and contractors for the job, full time. Menon said, “Some engineering firms from the area have come forward to work on the lake. Apart from adding to the greenery of the area, the restoration of the lake will raise the ground water table significantly.”