Message from MAPSAS trustee, Priya Ramasubban
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Kaikondarahalli Lake stands today as a shining example of lake restoration in Bangalore. It started back in 2008 with local citizens and the custodian government body, BBMP, working closely to rejuvenate the lake in an environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive way. Once restored, the BBMP encouraged active citizens to take up day-to-day maintenance, which resulted in the formation of Mahadevpura Parisara Samrakshane Mattu Abhivrudhi Samiti(MAPSAS), a non-profit trust which started off with maintaining 2 lakes, KK Halli and Lower Ambalipura (which was also restored around the same time). Today, MAPSAS has been entrusted by the BBMP with the upkeep of several lakes in the Bellandur region, which is a testimony to the track record and dedication of the citizenry that have volunteered to maintain the lakes, especially KK Halli Lake which has now a special place in the hearts and minds of people living in the Sarjapur Road area. Check out the Facebook page here.
The maintenance of KK Halli Lake costs around 18 lakhs a year, or an average of 150k a month. This is mainly to pay bills like covering gardener salaries, security guard salaries, diesel to pump water to plant/trees in non-monsoon months, de-weeding the water weeds, keeping toilets clean and other such activities. Detailed costs are enclosed below. It is worth mentioning here that this cost would have been a lot higher if not for the non-monetary contributions from well-wishers and experts to help with water quality tests, doing flora and fauna surveys, conducting community activities, etc.
BBMP does not allocate any money towards maintaining this lake, and so far the maintenance has been funded by United Way Bengaluru. However, as of this month United Way has reduced its contribution and will only support half of the monthly maintenance needs. Unless we get new sources of funding, this will mean we will be forced to retain only half the no. of gardeners and security guards, etc., and we will have to compromise the quality of work at the lake.
The best sustainable solution is for local communities to contribute towards the maintenance of the lake. We already have a good example of community supported maintenance: Lower Ambalipura. Lower Ambalipura Lake is maintained entirely with funds collected from residential communities that surround the lake, and this model has been successful and self-sustaining for many years.
We are hence appealing to the communities and citizens for help. Our community has the great fortune of having a lake like KKhalli near us and the benefits have accrued for years, we really would like our community to invest in this great resource by funding the maintenance of this lake.
Our budget for FY2015-16 is ₹ 144,000 per month to maintain the lake in its current shape. Here are the details:
7 gardeners x 8000 : ₹56000
5 Security x 8000 plus service tax : ₹56000
Pro-rated yearly bonus and medical for gardeners and security : ₹ 10000
Deweeding waterweeds & plants purchases: ₹10000 per month (these are spent quarterly or half yearly, reflected as monthly for calculation convenience)
Consumables, Diesel, Pump Maintenance, Tools etc : ₹7000 per month
Contingencies/Auditing/Compliance: ₹ 5000
Total for the year:Rs17,28,000
In the immediate short term, we invite RWAS and individuals to come forward to contribute to pay for the upcoming monthly expenses,. Contributions can be made to MAPSAS, which is a registered Trust under laws of Karnataka, and it has 12A as well as 80G exemptions.
For the long term, we are talking to philanthropists who may be willing to help if we set up a corpus for the lake where the community contributes about 50% towards the corpus.
Anyone interested in contributing to the corpus or towards the immediate monthly maintenance,(your donations are deductible in your tax returns under 80G), please email Subramanian Sankaran at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can provide you with bank details and organise to issue receipts.
Kaikondrahalli Lake needs your help folks! Please heed the call!