Lone crusader saves lake from jaws of extinction

Lone crusader saves lake from jaws of extinction

Natural remedy

Lone crusader saves lake from jaws of extinction

A concerned crusader’s efforts have prevented a lake from the brink of extinction.
Somashekhar J, 31, had to swim against the tide to prevent the degeneration of the Ramagondanahalli lake near Yelahanka. His efforts are all the more worthy of credit given the worrying trend, of water bodies being gobbled up, that is spreading fast in the City.
Weeds started growing thick and fast on the lake, spread across 30 acres, ever since it was filled with fresh water in June 2010.

Somashekhar, a former director of the Ramakrishna Ayurvedic Medical College, wrote to the BDA, which is responsible for the maintenance of the lake, in 2011 on protecting the lake. He also wrote to BBMP, urging for steps to clean the lake.

After months of waiting, Somashekhar found his hopes waning. It is then that he took upon himself the task to revive the lake. Somashekhar told Deccan Herald that he took the assistance of his friend, a weeding specialist, and in 2012, he cleared the lake of unwanted plants through biocontrol methods on a regular basis.

“Insects and mites that we let into the water body fed on the weeds and they acted as control agents. The lake is now cleared of 90 per cent of the weeds,” he said.

Somashekhar has deployed a few workers to remove the polythene covers, cups and other waste present in the water body.

Cleaning the lake was not an easy task, says Somashekhar, adding that he got no manpower or financial support from the civic agencies. He did not seek the assistance of local residents too.

“Ramagondanahalli lake is a beautiful water body. Unfortunately, today it is in a deplorable state, due to the complete negligence by the residents and the authorities concerned,” Somashekhar said.

The lake is mostly dry due to lack of rains and depletion of the groundwater, he said.Somashekhar now plans to grow trees around the lake. He said he is discussing the matter with Yelahanka United Environment Association (YUVA) and seeking support from other lake associations in the City.

The residents of Ramagondanahalli said that the lake was once home to a variety of birds, including pelicans, spot-billed ducks and painted storks, all of which have disappeared.

Sullage flowing into the lake and the stench keep both humans and the fauna away from the Ramagondanahalli lake. But Somashekhar’s crusade may change all that for good.

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