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Thanks to residents, Alahalli lake to be cleared of weeds in a week

G Manjusainath, Bengaluru: Dec 19, 2016, DHNS 1:55 IST
Rapid urbanisation in the surrounding areas has taken a toll  on Alahalli lake as untreated sewage was directly let into it.
When the civic agencies did nothing to maintain the Alahalli lake, local residents came together to revive it. And now, their efforts are bearing fruit, with weeding set to begin on Monday.

In just a week, the lake could regain some of its shape. The lake in southern Bengaluru was a visual treat for birdwatchers as it was home to a variety of winged guests till a decade ago. Rapid urbanisation in the surrounding areas, however, took a toll on this waterbody as untreated sewage was directly let into it. It is now choked with sewage and weeds, and fishkill is frequent. Pained at the lake’s pathetic condition, residents formed Alahalli Lake and Neighbourhood Development Trust (ALNDT) and took up its revival. Recently, they approached Bengaluru South MLA M Krishnappa and local corporator K Somashekhar, and discussed the lake development plan. After a go-ahead, the ALNDT approached an NGO, Pavitra Foundation, which had revived lakes in Jammu & Kashmir, Pune and other parts of the country. It agreed to revive the Alahalli lake but wanted somebody to share the cost of weeding. The ALNDT pooled money. Somashekhar and Krishnappa also contributed.

A five-member team of Pavitra Foundation has now reached Bengaluru and will start removing water hyacinth on Monday. Speaking to DH, Somashekhar said the lake was earlier in the custody of the BDA and later handed over to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike.

He said that neither agency did anything to revive it. “We approached the BBMP’s lake division for assistance but got a cold response. Finally, we decided to take up the work in association with residents,” he added. The corporator has estimated the lake revival cost at Rs 25 lakh and said weeding could take a week. Once the lake is fully cleaned, there are plans to divert the sewage.

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