Silent revolution of lake restoration

Silent revolution of lake restoration

A quiet ecological revolution is happening in Mysore, which many are fortunately unaware of. This is the restoration of six lakes coming under the Mysore City Corporation. Right now, a lake on Bogadi road is being restored. N Niranjan Nikam visits the area to speak to official lake consultant U N Ravikumar who threw light on what is in store for Mysoreans.

A nother sobriquet that could be added to Mysore, apart from the City of Palaces is the City of Lakes. The three most beautiful lakes that exist now are Kukkarahalli, Karanjikere and Lingambudi lakes (keres) where it is a joy to go and spend quality time.

The lake that is slowly catching the attention of the people that is being restored is the Bogadi lake, probably as old as the Lingambudhi lake (184 years old), off Bogadi road opposite to the Anthropological Survey of India close to the Nirmiti Kendra in Vijayanagar Second stage.

The work on the lake, also called Mariyappana kere, began on June 13 is likely to be completed in another two months, Mysore City Corporation assistant commissioner K Govindappa told City Herald.

“The work includes improvement of the tank bund, the water weir, fencing around the lake. A walking track will be laid in the sixteen acres of the lake,” said Govindappa.

Official lake consultant U N Ravikumar who has been involved in the restoration work of many lakes in and around Mysore said that the work on Bogadi Kere includes construction of one-and-a-half kilometre pathways, construction of toilets, provision for sewage and sullage treatment plant, improvement of bunds, fencing and plantation of trees. The cost of restoration of the 7.5 hectare lake will be Rs one crore.

“When Harsh Gupta was the deputy commissioner, the quiet revolution of the ecological restoration began. Bogadi kere is an upstream lake of Lingambudhi kere. The whole lake earlier used to irrigate acres of land in and around the Bogadi village,” he said.

The lake is a catchment area for the entire Vijayanagar layout as the water from all the drains will flow into the lake. Three Hitachi machines are working to desilt the lake and also remove debris and waste collected.

Once the lake is restored and water starts collecting it will be a beautiful sight to see, said Ravikumar. “As the area is not fully developed the fear of the underground drainage water flowing into the lake is still not there, unlike in Kukkarahalli and Karanjikere,” he said.

Another lake that is close to Bogadi Kere is the Rayana kere which also will be restored by the MCC. The other four lakes that come under the MCC are Dalvoy, Hebbal, Bommanahalli and Hinkal. “Mysore is becoming a model for restoration of lakes in the country. Lake experts from Kerala who visited Mysore recently were surprised to see how far we have gone in the restoration of the lakes,” said Ravikumar.

However, Ravikumar strongly feels that there should be a society to manage the lake like the one in Lingambudhi Kere where the citizens’ initiative has helped maintain the lake.

“There are many birds in the area like the Black Ibis, pond herons, purple moorhens, cuckoos, woodpeckers,quails, which my wife Swaroop and I watch during our morning and evening walks,” said a resident of Vijayanagar second stage Jagadish Prasad. “It is heartening to see that the lake is being restored and many of these birds will move to the lake area shortly,” he added.

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