Knowledge panel urges CM to hasten lake revival

Knowledge panel urges CM to hasten lake revival

Picture for representation

Members of the Karnataka Knowledge Commission have urged Chief Minister H  D Kumaraswamy to accelerate the slow-paced restoration work of the Madiwala lake.

Chairperson of the commission K Kasturirangan had reportedly expressed the commission’s dissatisfaction over the pace of the work to the chief minister.

The members also highlighted the fact that the work had come to a standstill for the past five months and sought Kumaraswamy’s intervention for speedy work. The commission has also asked the state government to create a 'Madiwala Lake Trust’ on the lines of the Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust and Yamuna Biodiversity Board Trust in Bengaluru and New Delhi, respectively. 

“The trust will comprise of government officials, members of resident welfare associations (RWAs) and experts. There is a need to set it up as the work has come to a near halt. After the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) was repealed, there has been no progress while the work on the 4 MLD sewage treatment plant should have neared completion by now. But till date, there is not even a sign of commencement of the work,” observed a commission member.

While the KLCDA had invited tenders to undertake the restoration works, the BWSSB is yet to take up the STP project and commission the works.

In 2015, the Knowledge Commission had suggested that the government transform the Madiwala Lake into a biodiversity hotspot. It involved Prof C R Babu, who is also working on the Ganga Biodiversity project, to make it a reality. Works on the lake started in 2016.

Work till now

So far, landscaping projects like the creation of an island; butterfly garden; walkways; insectivorous and Orchid conservatory; the herbarium of rare, endemic and threatened species, Cycas and palm groove; herbal garden; and rainforest ecosystem have been completed.

The KLCDA and forest department had also created a 12-foot-deep and 10-acre-wide at the Madiwala catchment area to control flooding. With this, the existing 200 acre Madiwala Lake looks much bigger.

“The commission was keen to inaugurate the park during this monsoon. But with the water quality continuing to be poor and turbid, it is unlikely. The chief minister cannot be invited to launch a half-done project,” the member observed.

The commission members are now discussing roping in IISc to conduct an analysis of the lake water.