Reviving the lost glory

Reviving the lost glory

The de-weeding process at Bellandur Lake has been stalled again notwithstanding all the focus generated by conservationists to save the water body. Several other lakes in the city, like Sarakki Lake in J P Nagar, Byrasandra Lake in Jayanagar and Horamavu-Agara Lake, too have turned into cesspools as they aren't cleaned and de-weeded as often as they should be.

Citizens who live near lakes have registered their protest against the slow death of these waterbodies and are taking active part in making sure the lakes are cleaned. They believe that unless they raise their voice, the government will not get down to action. There are several instances across the city where residents have joined hands with the government to hasten the process of cleaning and rejuvenating the lakes.

Rahul R S, an employee with the telecom industry and a resident of Rajarajeshwari Nagar, got together with a few other residents to form 'RR Nagar- I Care', an informal group that works with government officials to ensure that the cleaning and de-weeding of Halagevaderahalli Lake is done on a regular basis.

"We monitor the work of the government and make sure that they don't skip the cleaning process. Our efforts have paid off because today, after consistent efforts, the lake is clean and attracts may a rare species of birds," says Rahul. He adds that the residents also keep a watch over the lake and its surroundings.

"Earlier, there were cases of tree thefts, littering and anti-social elements hanging around the premises of the lakes. Now even that has reduced," he adds.

J Krishnan, a resident of Bannerghatta Road, has been instrumental in reviving and maintaining the Kalena Agrahara Lake. He is a core member of the 'Kalena Agrahara Lake Preservation and Beautification Members Association' and the members have made sure the lake is cleaned at least three to four times a year.

"A lake covered with weeds is an eyesore. We spend nothing less than one and half  lakhs a year to get contractors to clean the lake. This has immensely benefitted the residents in the vicinity," informs Krishnan.

But there are a few waterbodies like Sarakki Lake and Byrasandra Lake that still remain in a state of neglect.  Sudarshan H S, a software professional who lives near the Byrasandra Lake, points out that the lake hasn't been de-weeded for a long time.

"The Byrasandra Lake has also been encroached upon from all sides. You don't know where the lake begins and where it ends. People also throw garbage near the lake which aggravates the problem," says Sudarshan.

The story is no different at Sarakki Lake. Vijay M, an architect, who lives just opposite the lake, says "Weeds cover more than half the lake and construction debris and garbage is dumped along the periphery of the lake. It is only now that they have slowly started cleaning it up." He adds that there was a time in the city when all the lakes were interlinked and that link is clearly missing now.

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