CSR initiative pulls back lake from brink of extinction

Desilting, clearing land encroached for farming revives Kyalasanahalli lake

CSR initiative pulls back lake from brink of extinction

Rejuvenating a lake in 45 days may seem like a pipe dream against the “decades of work” by the government which leaves the lakes frothing. But a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative has shown the way.

The 36-acre Kyalasanahalli lake, which looked more like a pond till two months ago, has seen a transformation in 45 days thanks to the timely work taken up by a city-based company.

Durgesh Agrahari of SayTrees said, on April 20, Sansera Foundation, CSR arm of city-based company Sansera Engineering, adopted “what looked like a pond” at Kyalasanahalli in Bommasandra. “They have worked relentlessly for the last 45 days to make it what it is today. It is not just the lake, but the surrounding area also has seen a lot of change,” he said.

Anand Malligavad, head of Sansera Foundation, said, “When we first saw the lake, we knew it was a challenging task. We drew up a Rs four-crore budget and started working on it from Day One. We removed 3.6 lakh cubic metres of silt, increasing the lake’s capacity 20 times. The width of stormwater drains connecting the lake has been increased from 1.5 feet to 10 feet,” he said.

Noting that the residents of Kyalasanahalli supported the project, Anand said, “There are 200 houses in the village and when we explained the project to the residents, most of them chipped in.”

K Y Sheshappa, a village leader, said about 12 acres of the 36-acre lake were encroached by residents for agriculture. “About 15 of us went to each house and explained the rules related to lakes. Those who had encroached the lake readily agreed to give up the land for development,” he said.

“If the government had taken up the project, recovering the encroached land would have been tough. In 45 days, we have seen a miracle. Behind all that was hard work and commitment. Work did not stop even when it was raining. We have decided to maintain the lake in future too,” he said.

On Sunday, NGO SayTrees brought together 1,600 volunteers to plant 4,000 saplings on the lake’s bund and islets in the lake. “I was surprised to see the development that has taken place. It is a high quality work done in a very short time. Lakes in and around Bengaluru can be saved if more companies take such CSR initiatives,” he said.
DH News Service

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