Bengaluru's dying lakes could see better days

Bengaluru's dying lakes could see better days

Six companies pledge Rs 62 crore to save seven waterbodies

Bengaluru's dying lakes could see better days

At least six private entities, including IT major Wipro, have stepped in to save some of Bengaluru’s seven dying lakes.

While Biocon Limited has adopted Hebbagodi lake, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has signed up to save Dodda Bommasandra lake, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited has taken up Kengeri and Veerasandra lakes, Wipro Maragondanahalli lake, Garden City College Bhattarahalli lake, and Whitefield Rising, a citizens’ collective, Varthur lake. In all, they have pledged Rs 61.75 crore.

Infosys has evinced interest in rejuvenating Hebbal lake in Mysuru while Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) has stepped in to protect Bagundi lake in the port city.

The companies are entering into two-year contracts with the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA), the lake’s custodians and the deputy commissioner concerned. They have been entrusted with involving local communities and residents welfare associations.

In some cases, Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) are ready and MoUs have to be signed while DPRs have to be prepared in others, KLCDA CEO,
G Vidyasagar, told DH. “We have mobilised around Rs 94 crore through the CSR initiatives of these companies which we can utilise in protecting the lakes. All the MoUs have been approved by the Cabinet,” he added.

Some of the lake rejuvenation projects are likely to start soon. Jagadish Reddy, a volunteer with Whitefield Rising, said the collective would open a micro water treatment plant of 2 tmcft at the small estuary of Varthur lake near Idgah Road. The plant will treat sewage before it enters the lake.

“It will be similar to the one installed at Kundalahalli lake. The KLCDA has agreed to the proposal and we are awaiting permission from the Revenue Department on the location of the plant and from the lake’s custodian (Bangalore Development Authority),” he said.

Vidyasagar confirmed the tie-up with Whitefield Rising and said another residents’ group was in the works to rejuvenate Bellandur lake.