Fencing two sides, banning traffic and clearing blockages in stormwater drains are needed to protect the biodiversity of Doddakallasandra Lake, says a report by a group of environmentalists that surveyed the waterbody over the past year.
NGO ActionAid Association, which did the survey along with environmentalists, released the report on Saturday. It has recommended fencing the lake on the southern and southwestern sides where the marshes are not clear, clearing blockages in stormwater drains to allow the smooth flow of rainwater into the lake and banning vehicular movement near the waterbody.
Other suggestions are clearing debris on the southern side of the lake and developing it into a healthy forest patch to attract birds. Residents routinely complain about liquor bottles and other debris being thrown on the lakebed at night, the report said.
“Prevent disturbance by banning vehicular movement near the lake. It should support walking and nature-related activities only. The lake should ideally be developed in such a way as to make it an educational centre for wetlands. They should not become recreation boating-centric places,” the report reads.
The survey began in December 2018 and covered activities such as bird walks, butterfly walks, naming trees and identifying insects. Spread over 25 acres, the lake in southern Bengaluru is home to more than 70 species of birds and 37 species of butterflies besides rich flora, according to the report.
Ulhas Anand, one of the volunteers who took part in the survey, said they documented trees, soil, butterflies and birds. The lake area is also home to endangered birds such as black-naped ibis and oriental darter, he added.
Bhargavi S Rao, an environmentalist, called for understanding the principle of intergenerational equity where the next generation has equal access to things of nature. Citing the example of Pavagada in Tumakuru, which houses one of the world’s largest solar plants, she said the project had affected the biodiversity of that region. “We are now left with nothing but a desert,” she added.