Green warriors gather, fight to save Gottigere lake

Green warriors gather, fight to save Gottigere lake

A group of residents around Gottigere lake has enthusiastically gotten together to de-weed and clean the lake each weekend. All they want is, for the lake to return to its pristine self.  

Each week the residents enter the 38-acre lake to remove the water hyacinth choking it and make it habitable for aquatic life.  The voluntary cleaning drive is held every Sunday from 6.30 am to 10 am.

These green warriors are looking forward to more public participation in their cleaning drive and are planning to continue the initiative until it the lake is rejuvenated and becomes a lifeline for the residents.

"Ten years earlier, the lake was clean, the entire Gottigere village depended on the fresh water from the lake and varieties of migratory birds also used to visit the lake", Pradeep a lawyer and a volunteer told DH.

"In 2015, Upa Lokayukta Justice S B Majage had directed BDA, BWSSB and BBMP officials to revive the water body, but the lake bed is still littered with garbage and sewage is also being let into the lake" Pradeep added.  

People from all walks of life including techies, businessmen, college students take part in the cleaning drive. The group encourages children above 15 years old to take part in the drive.

The volunteers clean it by hand, rake and sticks. They stack up to the trash on the bank around the lake and leave it to dry for three days, after which it is cleared from there.  

Saurabh Nair, a volunteer told DH, "As residents, we will do what it takes to keep the lake clean, preserve it for our children and maintain the ecosystem."

"There is a lot of sewage flowing into the lake, resulting in microphytes covering the water. Apart from making it impure, the sewage chokes the lake," said Nair.

"The lake has become a garbage dump for many. This could have been a clean water reservoir in this area. We can't wait for government agencies to act.   Hence we decided to take up cleaning work on our own, " said Ashakiran, another volunteer.  

"We are ready to partner with any organisation to rejuvenate our lakes. We are looking forward to more volunteers to join us in this initiative," said Azhar Ali, another volunteer.

"As the Lake development authority and BDA are struggling to rejuvenate the Bellandur lake, these kinds of community initiatives will help revive all these lakes. More people should become aware of the need of reviving the endangered lakes of our city," said Satish.

BDA has started constructing a walkway around the lake, but the residents are skeptical about pumping out the water to clean up the lake. They say diverting sewage itself will clean up the lake to a great extent.

The volunteers have a Facebook page 'Save Gottigere Lake' where the residents update on the lake rejuvenation and their weekly cleaning drive.

The initiative supported by residents of Nandi Retreat Apartment, Sai Nandana Apartment, Balaji Gardens Layout, Silver Spring Apartment, Bohra Layout.  

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