Relentless locals restore Iblur Lake to pristine beauty

Relentless locals restore Iblur Lake to pristine beauty

Iblur Lake was contaminated as sewage streamed into it because of the BBMP's faulty policies, according to a local activist.

A few years ago, like-minded local citizens took the onus of reviving the lake. They struggled to get the civic bodies to rejuvenate the lake and eventually succeeded in their efforts. Now, the lake is witnessing significant recovery.

"The lake was under the management of the Bangalore Development Authority in 2013," said Naresh Sadasivan, a representative of the Iblur Lake Forum and Iblur Environs Trust. "It was concerned about the waterbody but did very little. By then, the sewage began streaming in and the lake was getting contaminated. All this was due to the blunders made by the BBMP."

It was then that seven to eight residents formed the Iblur Lake Forum and repeatedly sent petitions to the BDA on the lake's worsening condition. "A private party had partially encroached on the lake and there was no fencing in 2012," Sadasivan added. "Also, people began dumping garbage on the lakebed."

Before the lake changed hands from the BDA to the BBMP in 2015, the former had fenced the lake in 2014 and removed encroachments after repeated petitions by the locals. With further prodding, the BBMP eventually began rejuvenating the lake in 2016.

"The civic body first stopped sewage from streaming into the lake by building a diversion channel in 2017. It was de-silted three months ago and now, they are doing the bund formation," Sadasivan said.

The lake's island is also getting a facelift, where residents are planning to plant trees, shrubs and reeds while the rains are active.

"Fig, peepal, neem and Ficus glomerata (a variant of the fig tree) and other trees will be planted to attract birds," said another member of the Iblur Lake Forum.

Those residing in apartments around the lake are also taking part in the rejuvenation activities during the weekends. "We'll make sure no commercial activities take place near the lake," Sadasivan. Representatives from the BBMP will visit the lake next week to determine the planting and watering plans on the island.

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