Lake comes to life as citizens help in rejuvenation

A citizen group urged the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to revive the lake some years ago. The latter then took up rejuvenation work last year. Now, the work is almost finished. 

There was a time when polluted water and garbage black spots pushed Alahalli Lake in southern Bengaluru to the brink. Now, with the help of citizens and the BBMP, the lake is coming back to life. 

The 23-acre lake next to Amruth Nagar Main Road had nothing but sewage flowing in from a stormwater drain and a couple of leaking sewage lines from residential areas nearby. Garbage was being dumped on the lakebed by residents and commercial establishments. 

A citizen group urged the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to revive the lake some years ago. The latter then took up rejuvenation work last year. Now, the work is almost finished. 

"Between 2008 and 2009, the lake was so polluted that it forced some citizens to come out of their comfort zone. They pledge to clean up the waterbody. A citizen group was formed in 2012 to clean the area around the lake. We could only clean the black spots. We could not do anything about the sewage entering the lake without the civic body’s help," said Anand Yadwad, volunteer, Save Alahalli Lake. 

The lake was under the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) until 2016. "The BDA had floated tenders to rejuvenate the lake but no prominent work was carried out. We sought permission from the BDA to clean up the lake ourselves,” he added. 

The lake was then taken over by the BBMP the same year. "The BBMP sanctioned Rs 9 crore to revive the waterbody, of which Rs 6 crore was spent on desilting and weeding and Rs 3 crore was spent on sewage pipelines and other works. Now, the sewage is diverted to Vaderahalli Lake which is 10 km downstream,” said Yadwad. 

At present, the Palike has taken up the second phase of the work that includes lake bund beautification and the construction of a walkers’ track. 

BBMP engineers and volunteers involved in lake rejuvenation conducted a lake walk on Sunday at the Alahalli Lake. BBMP officials said they are on a mission to revive lakes in the city and would complete it soon.

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