BENGALURU: Standing on a patch of land scattered with vegetation at Adi Hosahalli, near Nelamangala in Bengaluru Rural District, it is hard to gauge that the land was once a lakebed. The banks of the large lake, which measures more than 50 acres, have a height of about six feet, indicating that the lake held considerable amount of water sometime in the past.
“The lake used to be filled to the brim and the excess water would spread to the surrounding land. I had seen the lake about 25 years ago. Since then, the water level in the lake has reduced significantly. Now, only puddles could be seen during the rainy season,” said Lingaiah, a resident of the village.
However, scenes around the lake are all set to change. The River Rejuvenation Project of Art of Living (AOL) has kindled hope among the local populace, who have suffered due to water shortage of late. If all goes well, the water body will retain its old glory soon. The project has been taken up using donations and funds under National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
At Adi Hosahalli and other villages, works have already started to improve the waterholding capacity in a small area in the lakebed. A water pool, which is reinforced by boulders, is at the centre of the lakebed, where there is some water despite dry conditions around. Works have also been taken up along the streams that connect to the lake. People from AOL are trying to revive the condition of streams, which bring water to the lakes.
Boulder check and recharge wells are constructed close to each other in order to boost groundwater recharge.
Dr Y Lingaraju, who has been a key-advisor of the various river rejuvenation projects being taken up by the AOL, told Express that the rejuvenation of lakes will ultimately help in improving the condition of rivers.
“In the past, there were several lakes scattered along the command area of a river. They also served as water sources for the river. However, with environmental degradation, width and flow of rivers have reduced. Improving the lakes will eventually help in reviving the river,” he said.