BENGALURU: The 15-acre Benniganahalli lake, which was once a destination shunned by people, has now become a favourite spot for many. The change has been brought about by the rejuvenation of the water body carried out by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
The lake, located near Old Madras Road, was earlier under the care of Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), before it was handed over to BBMP in 2016, according to civic body officials. When BBMP took charge, the lake was in a very bad condition, the agency’s lake team told CE. “It was in a pathetic state. The water smelt bad due to sewage entering the lake, and it hadn’t been desilted or deweeded for years,” Shilpa, Assistant Executive Engineer, BBMP (Forest), said.
BBMP then decided to take up rejuvenation of the lake at a cost of Rs 3 crore, through works such as desilting, removal of weeds, and creating a diversion channel in order to divert the sewage flow. BBMP started the work in January 2018, and after a year, the work was completed in March this year. The task was also monitored by Pai Layout Resident Welfare Association (PLRWA), with residents making regular follow-ups. After BBMP finished its job, residents decided to take good care of the lake. They are now working towards adding more facilities.
Benniganahalli Lake Trust (BLT) is in touch with various NGOs, and is seeking CSR funds to develop the area into a park. “We have decided to erect a fencing around the lake to protect it. We will also construct a walking pathway and jogging track, and also provide gym facilities and playing equipments with lighting around the lake, which will attract more visitors. We feel it is our lake now, and we will take care of it,” BLT treasurer K Muralidharan said.
The residents have also planted 800 sapling around the lake to beautify it, and regularly take care of them by removing weeds. Every weekend, a cleanup activity is held near the lake, which involves adults as well as children.
Manini Manlal, a member of PLRWA, said the lake was a beautiful place around 10 years back, with people spending their leisure time there while children played around. However, over the years, it got increasingly polluted due to industrial waste. “However, we can now heave a sigh of relief as BBMP has done a good job in cleaning the water body and diverting the sewage. We have started going back to the lake,” said Manlal.