In Feb 2011, The Hindu newspaper carried a news article “Lakes that no one can visit”, based on ATREE’s Mahadevapura Constituency Lakes Report . One of the lakes mentioned in the article was the 4.64 hectare Devarabisanahalli Lake, near Intel office and Adarsh Palm Retreat apartments in Bellandur Ward (south-east Bangalore).
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ATREE’s report described the lake as
“Shrinking water body. Currently completely dry lake, but this is a small lake and can be easily recharged with rain water precipitation if proper dredging is undertaken.”
It was also observed that the lake was surrounded by private property with no public access, in violation of the status of lakes as public common spaces.
Three years on, many things have changed. There is water in the lake (though not all of the inflow is clean), the trees and plants that have grown around the lake now support about 40 species of birds and other fauna, and the lake is accessible to the public from three different paths. Most importantly, there is a group of active citizens working to get the lake revived.
Over the last few months, the Devarabisanahalli Lake Group has spent much time and effort to create awareness about the lake and mobilize support to ensure it is properly restored and maintained. The events held till now include an art competition, a walkathon, nature walks, bird spotting, and several clean-up drives. The reward was a visit by a Spot-billed Pelican in December!
Before clean-up (Sep 2013) and now (Jan 2014)
Spot-billed pelican visits, Dec 2013
The Devarabisanahalli Lake Group is looking forward to celebrating World Wetlands Day on 2nd Feb 2014. With this event at the lake, the group hopes to increase awareness about the lake, the biodiversity it supports and the issues it faces. The plan for the morning includes:
– a clean-up and nature walk at the lake, involving neighbourhood residents and school children
– story telling and puppet show
– a stall selling native and medicinal herbs and plants, lake related merchandise
– a presentation on wetlands, their biodiversity and conservation by naturalist S. Karthikeyan.
Do join the lake team for the event. Your support will go a long way in boosting the efforts for the restoration of the lake.
Venue: Devarabisanahalli Lake (Behind Intel, Bellandur, Outer Ring Road)
Date: Sunday, 2nd February 2014
Time: 7:30 am – 11:00 am
Pics courtesy: The Devarabisanahalli Lake Team