Community update on the Ibblur Lake restoration effort, shared by Mr Mukund Kumar
In the month of October, the last section of the fencing of the inner lake area around the bend from ORR service road (near Cafe Coffee Day) was finally fenced by officials of the BDA. A separate pedestrian gate was installed on the section facing the back side of Sobha Hibiscus near ORR Service. This was stalled in the context of a court case filed by a certain party who was arguing for road expansion in the lake area in the context of commercial construction interest (per law, buildings beyond certain number of floors need to have a minimum access path/ road to facilitate smooth movement).
Last month, one of the alleged land encroachers started building a concrete compound wall to reclaim the same land that was freed (by officials of the Bangalore South taluk office in Mar 2014). After much protest/ persistance by the neighbouring residents, the office of the Lokayuktha intervened and on 26 Oct, senior officials of the Taluk/ District office and the BDA inspected the site and handed a warning to the above party. They however held off from filing a police complaint. Fencing on the outer lake area is currently status quo & efforts are on to mobilise the BDA to complete this.
On the water purification front, BWSSB has initiated a proposal to prepare an STP plant in the suggested amount of 7 Crores, and has formally applied for funding to the state government, as well as land transfer from BDA. There is no DPR yet. We believe that a comprehensive analysis of alternatives must be initiated before going forward with any such project, given the underlying challenges/ costs associated with traditional STP plants. Additionally, we are trying to partner with folks to conduct Water testing to come up with alternative proposals such as bio-remediation etc.
Now with the entire lake area protected, we are working with the local BJP Corporator Smt Latha Murthy and BBMP officials to clean up a strip of land, and plant trees on that strip. If we are able to accomplish this feat, we will like the community to join us for a larger tree & flowering shrub planting initiative – we are way behind schedule on this, but hopefully we will start the new year with this initiative behind us.
How can you help ?
– Participate in community restoration events including Tree plantation drives
– Stay vigilant and report any untoward events in the vicinity of the lake
– Reach out to your contacts/ friends/ organisations for funding and CSR support
– Spread the word around.
Please continue to reach out to any one of us (Vinod, Naresh, Subbu, Bhuvnesh, Bindu, Parthiv, Ramkumar, Priya, Rajesh Rao, Lalitha, Meera et al) or MAPSAS (www.150lakes.org) in case you’d like to be part of this movement to clean up our neighbouring lakes.
Ibblur Lake, Jan 2013 (Pic: Mukund Kumar)