BENGALURU: Summer is here, temperatures are soaring and lakes and water bodies have already dried up. While citizens are scrambling to make arrangements for water, the Forest Department is making adequate arrangements for the hapless animals in the forest areas around Bengaluru.
Water holes are being constructed by forest department personnel in places like Turahalli, V M Kaval and BM Kaval forest areas. Assistant Conservator of Forests, Bengaluru Urban, N Ravindra Kumar said the water holes, primarily meant for herbivores, are being layered with tarpaulin sheets so that water does not get absorbed by the soil.
“We are using water tankers to fill these watering holes. So far, we have constructed two such watering holes in Turahalli forest, two in the mini forest and one in V M Kaval reserve forest area. We are also desilting lakes. Some of these lakes are in catchment areas and if we clean them up, it can fill up with just a couple of rain showers,” Ravindra Kumar, who oversees south sub-division, said.
The department has also taken up work on deepening of lakes, desilting and bund stabilisation.
A month ago, they also started placing concrete water bowls for birds in areas like Mandur, Jyothipura and Marasandra in Yelahanka range.
The water holes are being used by herbivores as indicated by deer tracks around the tanks. “Herbivores eat grass even if it is dried. It is the water that is more of a concern. With these measures, we are hoping it will address the problems,” he said.
The forest areas around Bengaluru South boasts of good number of herbivores like barking deer, spotted deer and wild boars which will benefit from the construction tanks. In addition, the Department is also engaged in making the area as much fire-proof as possible by creating fire lines.
“We have made fire lines in a criss-cross manner and raised blocks. Even if there is a fire, it will not spread as there will be nothing much for the fire to burn on,” he pointed.
The Department, in an unusual move, is also seeking the help of corporates to clear up more lakes.
Work on each lake costs around Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. Deputy Conservator of Forest, Bengaluru Urban, Dipika Bajpai tweeted that people who wanted to help could contact them. She said they were looking for corporates who could donate towards desilting more such lakes.
“We want to finish the work before the rains begin and all this involves desilting and simple masonry work,” she said.
Between Turahalli state and mini forests and B M Kaval, there are eight lakes which are in need of attention and the department hopes to get some help to spruce them up.