It has been about three months since an update on the status of Iblur lake rejuvenation was shared. So here is one.
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As the picture suggests, there is water! That is a great news indeed. It is far from full, but to get to this point required a fair bit of work. Copious rains over the lake body were not enough. We had to find ways to clean up inlets of roadside drains that could feed the lake. We now have 4 such inlets and we will add a couple more once the current roadworks are complete. Here are some updates on what’s going on.
More trees planted
Early November, we had United Way organise a tree planting drive; around 200 volunteers from Genpact planted over 1,200 saplings of shrubs, bushes, and smaller trees. This is in addition to over 300 forest trees we planted in May, which have now grown substantially. We will have more trees planted in an organised manner – larger trees in wider areas, and smaller ones in narrower areas.
The construction of a toilet block and a security room is complete. At present, an underground sump is being constructed and an overhead tank will soon be erected. Once those are in place, and the 3-phase power from BESCOM (that has been applied for) is turned on, we will throw open the toilets for public use.
Safety and security of the lake
Two women home guards are now responsible for safety and security of the lake and its users. Their job is to make sure that gates are opened and closed on time, and to ensure that lake users follow BBMP usage rules and guidelines; these include not getting into the water, sitting on kerb stones closer to the water body, not sitting where plants are growing, and not walking on the stone wall that separates the main water body from the wetland. It is a request to all to cooperate and help them maintain safety and security of the premise.
Construction of Sewage Treatment Plant
The construction of the Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) has begun. It is expected to complete soon and hopefully start functioning by end of January 2020. This STP should feed 250kld of tertiary treated water to the lake.
Tentative plan for lake land on the other side of the road
We had a recent issue of a road contractor pulling down newly-erected fences to usurp lake land with an intent to use that land to widen the Suncity – DNR Road; timely intervention prevented that from happening. Road works have resumed now that we have a resolution. Lake land on the other side of the roads will be used to plant trees, and if required, to provide a drain and footpath for pedestrian traffic, and possibly some public infrastructure like an open air gym (subject to availability of funds).
Ongoing clean-up drive
There is an ongoing effort underway to remove weeds; we expect this major exercise to be complete in 2 weeks.
Plan for Phase-2 work
We have Phase 2 works being planned – a kalyani if possible, fence repair work (of parts that were left untouched earlier), a bird observatory, etc. All this would be possible only if we work with the BBMP to find budgets for these works, and with the Revenue Department to evict encroachers where some of this infrastructure can be housed.
Events planned at the lake
We are working on a number of events for the next year – hopefully, a Kere Habba and some fun activities. Do send us ideas and your thoughts on the same – we always value your inputs. And while at it, please join the Iblur Environs Trust volunteer circle – we welcome people who can give a couple of hours per week of on ground. It would be a lovely way to give back to nature for the unbounded joy it gives us every minute.
Lastly, there is an enormous sense of joy and fulfillment when we see hundreds of people using the lake and the public commons around it. If each one of you believe that this is your lake too, please be vigilant and ensure that lake and its environs are kept free from dirt and garbage, If you see any garbage, please pick it up and drop it into the bins near the park area or near the gate. If you see intentional abuse of the lake (waste dumping on the perimeter, inflow of sewage into lake, etc.), please alert us. Do help the home guards perform their duty with diligence.
If anyone wants to plant trees, please reach out to us here so that we can suggest what and where to plant them.
Note: The lake has been rejuvenated by BBMP with on ground support and inputs from Iblur Environs Trust. It is jointly maintained by BBMP, United Way Bangalore, and Iblur Environs Trust. The corporate Partner is Genpact.