One of the smallest of the three lakes in J P Nagar, 7th Phase, Puttenahalli Lake located between Brigade Millennium and L&T South City is based on 13.25 acres. Once on the brink of extinction, it was revived and maintained by the authorities and the local citizens. Today, it is home to a variety of bird species and has become a bird watcher's delight amidst the concrete jungle. However, the other two lakes in this area have not been so fortunate.
Speaking to City Express, Usha Rajagopalan from Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust (PNLIT) says, "After many years, the Puttenahalli lake has filled to the brim. This is all because of concerted efforts made by BBMP and BWSSB. One more important work that was carried out was removal of encroached and blocked main and branch channels which was in fact, completed much before March this year. As a result, the rainwater has copiously flowed into the lakes."
Now compare this with Uttarahalli Lake situated in one of the biggest wards of Bangalore. A decade ago, this lake was a pristine paradise for fishing and migratory birds, but today, it is dry and full of sewage water. Despite a revival effort and investment of more than `3 crore, the lake has not received any rainwater except the drain water which flows from the nearby residential and huge apartment complexes.
Uttarahalli, which falls in Bangalore South constituency lacks proper drainage system and there are hardly any storm water drains in and around residential layouts and if by chance, they exist, they are loaded with waste and construction debris.
"The heavy rains in the past few weeks has not benefited the lake even an inch and one has to bear the stinking smell of the sludge and muck dumped on its periphery," adds Narayan Murthy, an environmental activist.
Suresh Nair, Executive Director, United Way of Bengaluru (UWBe), which is part of the revival project and has planted 300 saplings says that the height of the fencing has to be increased while the backside of the lake needs more infrastructure to protect it from encroachers and dumpers.
Unlike other areas, they have been unable to find or involve the local residents for its maintenance and protection.