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Lakes of Bengaluru: Rejuvenated in 2017, Kowdenahalli lake is once again in dire need of attention

Last year, BBMP had proposed to set up CCTV cameras at 11 different lakes, one of them was Kowdenahalli lake but the same is yet to be done.

Kowdenahalli LakeKowdenahalli Lake. (Express photo by Jithendra M.)

Rejuvenated in 2017 after citizens took up the initiative, the 55-acre Kowdenahalli lake in Bengaluru’s K R Puram is once again in a deplorable state. While the residents say that western portion of the lake needs attention, civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) maintains they do not have funds to carry out the repair works.

Lake activist Balaji Raghotham said, “Over 36 acre of the lake’s western side is yet to be rejuvenated. The government must address the issue of slum-dwellers since they throw garbage inside the boundary of the lake. BBMP has done a great job in the part of the lake it restored. Saplings were planted by the volunteers in the vacant spaces around the lake to maintain ecology around the lake. We have created a bird perch as well. This is a great lake which needs attention. The lake must be maintained.”

The intent behind the installation of cameras by BBMP was to prevent dumping of garbage inside the lake’s vicinity. (Express photo by Jithendra M.)

C Narayanappa, president of the K R Puram Lake and Environment Protection Trust, said the trust in 2017 received a grant of Rs 1.2 crore under the local MLA’s (Byrathi Basavaraj, presently urban development minister) fund for developmental works. The funds were utilised to put up LED lights, toilets and benches.

“Not only garbage is being dumped but there is a persistent problem of the entry of sewage into the lake from the storm water drain. We are meeting the urban development minister Byrathi Basavaraj next week to discuss ways of restoring the remaining portion of the lake. The stench emanating from the garbage which enters the lake is unbearable. Arrangements to put up security should be made. BBMP officials say that they do not have funds to restore the lake. There is an issue of encroachment as well which needs to be addressed. People have built houses on the lake’s land,” he added.

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Kowdenahalli lake in Bengaluru’s K R Puram. (Express photo by Jithendra M.)

Last year, BBMP had proposed to set up CCTV cameras at 11 different lakes, one of them was Kowdenahalli lake but the same is yet to be done. The intent behind the installation of cameras was to prevent dumping of garbage inside the lake’s vicinity and to keep a check on the banned activities like consumption of alcohol and damage to plants inside the lake premises. However, a year has passed since the announcement but the cameras are yet to be installed.

Tara Sarkar, another volunteer, said the water body requires urgent attention. “There are major issues, including broken fencing, garbage dumping and the entry of sewage. The citizen volunteers are doing everything they can to restore the pristine glory of the lake,” she said.

A senior BBMP official from the lake department said, “We want to restore the lake but are short of funds. While the government makes grand announcements about restoring lakes across the city, if funds do not percolate, how are we expected to go ahead with the proposals? The entry of sewage into the lake is a major issue which we are trying to address.”

First published on: 14-08-2022 at 07:00:53 am
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