Students spread green word at Arekere Lake

In a bid to encourage the revival of the neglected Arekere Lake in Hulimavu area, a Kere Habba was held there on Sunday.

Organised by Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF), in association with Arekere Neighbourhood Improvement Trust (ANIT) and BGS National Public School, the day-long festival witnessed activities such as painting competition, tree plantation, streetplay and poster making. About 50 students from different schools took part in the painting competition that was themed ‘lake preservation and pollution’. ANIT said the event’s objective was to encourage people to connect with their surroundings, explore and participate in preserving their lakes and become stakeholders in keeping them alive.

Sridhar Pabbisetty, CEO of NBF, said, “The rising pollution in Bengaluru’s lakes, as was seen in the recent fire in Bellandur Lake, is a strong reminder of our duty as citizens to engage with the government in cleaning our lakes on a war footing.” He said it was encouraging to see community and neighbourhood collaborating to restore, rejuvenate and protect lakes.

Volunteers carried placards with messages on lake restoration and its importance as they walked around the lake. The Kere Habba is being conducted by NBF for five years from 2015-2019, in association with lake activists.

“This is the first time the festival took place at Arekere lake and we plan to hold it every year. The BWSSB had taken up the project of diverting sewage flow away from the water body. However, it is yet to take off,” said ANIT member Veena Hegde.  

The local residents said the water body was encroached upon by builders and the lake that was originally around 36 acres had shrunk by 7-8 acres in the last few years. They said besides sewage flow and encroachments, garbage was dumped in and around the lake by miscreants. They pressed for awareness campaigns and immediate measures by civic bodies to preserve the lake.

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