Green warriors, CSR funds come to Nandi Hills' rescue

Green warriors, CSR funds come to Nandi Hills' rescue

An ongoing green initiative has helped revive ponds and lakes as well as increase green cover in Nandi Hills in the last three years.

The Nandi Lake and Pataala Ganga have been revived through the untiring efforts of former IFS officer and noted environmentalist AN Yellappa Reddy’s Bangalore Environment Trust and the United Way Bengaluru - both of whom have used CSR funds to rejuvenate water bodies as part of the “Save Nandi Hills campaign”.

According to a report on the campaign’s activities, Nandi Lake was in terrible shape, with uncontrolled removal of soil and dumping of waste and debris virtually destroying the lake.

The NGO along with the district administration and zilla panchayat took up a scientific study to revive the lake. The feeder canals blocked for several years were cleared and rainwater was allowed to flow into the lake.

Apart from that, kalyanis (small ponds) were also revived. One such kalyani, Paataala Ganga, was choked with silt. So, the feeder canals were cleaned and water is now flowing into the Paataala Ganga, which is now raising the water level up in the Amrut Sarovara. To enhance bio-diversity, tree plantation drives and seed ball throwing initiatives were also carried out.

The fertile red soil, manure and cow dung was used to make the seed balls by engaging volunteers from various companies.

Drastic change

About 2,000 saplings of native fruit and flower-bearing species have been planted since the campaign began. This has also discouraged the proliferation of eucalyptus, which is known to be harmful to soil and water.

Speaking about the rejuvenation project, Special Officer to Nandi Hills, Ramesh N, said that a drastic change could be seen ever since the activities began.

“Although the government allocates funds for improving and maintaining Nandi Hills, it is not enough especially with the manpower crisis. The volunteers come in hundreds, take up the task and finish it. More than funds, it the scientific method and the huge number of volunteers that is making the difference here,” Ramesh added.

About 70 acres of Nandi Hills is controlled and maintained by the Horticulture department, while the remaining 3,500 acres of land is under the forest department.