Ganesh Murugesan, Praveen Vasudeva, Amol Patil, Jeffery Valentine and I (Rita Gera) ran the Bangalore Marathon on 13th Oct 2019 to raise awareness about the ongoing Kannamangala Lake development work and help collect funds for wetland creation at the lake. Urging you to support our environment cause!
Next, on 7th Dec 2019 team is running 10K in Bangalore Midnight Marathon. Viraj Hegde has joined the lake fundraiser team.
Quoting from Native Planet “Once known as the city of lakes, Bangalore has been hit in the false name of progress and urbanisation. The lakes of Bangalore have over the years contributed to the pleasant weather of the city. There were a total of 280 lakes and tanks in the year 1960. And 30 years down the line, the water bodies summed up to less than 80. Today, there are only 17 lakes in the city which are tended to by many NGO's and activists more than Government authorities!” Read more at: https://www.nativeplanet.com/travel-guide/bangalore-forgotten-city-of-lakes-000287.html
As per Live Mint, due to rapid urbanisation water consumption in cities like Bangalore, has significantly gone up resulting in serious ground water levels depletion. Read more at: https://www.livemint.com/news/india/which-indian-city-will-run-out-of-water-first-1564920315004.html
To fight against this looming water crisis, residents of Greater Whitefield (GW) area of Bangalore have come together under an organisation called Force-GW to actively work with local village panchayat to revive and develop Kannamangala Lake.
The lake spreads over 18 acres of land and provides water to 3 neighbouring panchayat areas. The lake serves as a home to multiple varieties of fishes and birds. On any day, one can easily spot 10 different types of birds. Over the years, the lake was not maintained and became an area for dumping and burning garbage. This was not only polluting the lake water but the bad air was going to adversely impact the health of the residents. Clearly, there was a need for the Greater Whitefield residents to step up and come together to save Kannamangala Lake so that the area does not become inhabitable in the near future due to water crisis and unhealthy water. Kannamangala Panchayat has given the Force-GW team an authority to develop and maintain the lake.
Over the last 6 months team has been working with BIOME Trust that has expertise in water treatment, well known NGO SayTrees for tree plantation and Soaring Kites Foundation NGO to raise funds for the lake revival work. Following activities are completed and planned:
- Removal of encroachments (Status: Complete) - Volunteers engaged with local farmers who had taken the land around the lake for farming, brick factory work etc. and explained to them why it is crucial to reviving the lake. After multiple rounds of discussion, all have given the encroached land back for the lake development.
- Removal of garbage (Status: Complete) - 300 tons of unsegregated trash has been removed by BBMP and local panchayat.
- Desilting the Lake Bed (Status: Complete) - Earthy deposit, fine sand, sediments etc had formed a thick layer at the bottom of the lake due to which water was not penetrating into the water table. Lake bed has been desilted and trash found at the bottom of the lake removed.
- Island for birds (Status: Complete) - Birds prefer nesting in a secluded place. Keeping this in mind, one existing island has been strengthened and two new islands have been created.
- Creation and strengthening of bunds (Status: Work in Progress) - Bund is a wall like structure around the lake. Earth bund has been created and vetiver grass, that is the most natural way to prevent soil erosion, is being planted on the bund to strengthen it.
- Tree Plantation (Status: Work in Progress) - Two Miyawaki Forests, that grow 10 times faster than the traditional forests, have been planted by NGO SayTrees. Several other trees have been planted around the lake by corporates and panchayat. We will continue to plant more trees, flowering/non-flowering plants, shrubs, medicinal plants etc.
- Wetland (Status: Work halted till the contractor is paid): Wetlands are natural shallow water bodies which help in cleaning up the water before it enters the lake. Considering the size of Kannamangala Lake and inlets into the lake, it needs two wetlands. One will spread over 25,000 sq ft area and another one 10,000 sq ft area. These shallow wetlands will have a gradual slope towards the lake. Grey water from the village will follow the winding canal so that it spends at least 2 days in the wetland, UV rays from sunlight will kill the harmful germs and wetland plants will absorb the water impurities.
- Fencing (Status: Not Started)
Force-GW team of volunteers is seeking your support and request you to contribute generously towards the first wetland creation (25,000 sq ft size) at Kannamangala Lake. This work has to be completed quite urgently to ensure grey water does not enter the lake.
Please also help forward this campaign to your friends and family requesting their support.
Sharing below the letter from Kannamangala Panchayat giving lake development work to Force-GW volunteers, pictures of work completed/in progress.