Garden city of Bangalore is an ideal place to enjoy nature at its best. Bangalore is famous for its elegant lakes and gardens as well as the magnificent IT Parks that are now the lifeline of the city. The city once had a well-connected network of 835 lakes. Today, less than 200 survive. Bengaluru, lately, has been staring at horrifying predictions with regard to its depleting water sources and its frothing, burning lakes. Apparently, a techie named Anand Malligavad has single-handedly rejuvenated a lake, he convinces 200 families to join his effort.
Depleting Water Bodies in Bengaluru
According to a BBC report, it is claimed that the IT city would follow South Africa’s Cape Town and soon run out of drinking water. A more recent assessment by Down To Earth, a publication of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), echoed that the number of water bodies in the city has reduced by 79% in the past four decades due to unplanned urbanization and encroachment. Simultaneously, the built-up area has increased from 8% in 1973 to 77% presently.
The Man who lead the village to create a lake
Anand Malligavad, head of Sansera Foundation’s corporate projects, who has single-handedly rejuvenated Kyalasanahalli Lake near Aneka. He says that the essence of their environment work is to improve their surroundings. That’s how the idea to improve the Kyalasanahalli lake, right behind their plant, came about. He would walk by the lake, which had been reduced to a pond in the last few decades, and he proposed bringing it back to its original glory.
Coming from a rural background, Anand spent most of his childhood playing in and around a lake. “Comparing the Bengaluru that I saw in 1996 to the present day, there has been a drastic change. Our lakes have been abused and destroyed. Studying in a government school that was situated near a lake, I spent most of my growing years at a lake. When I got an opportunity to work with lakes, I immediately jumped forward to take it up.”
The Plan, that needed much support
According to Anand, the trash like glass, fiber, wool that were dumped by industries is what caused the condition of lakes to worsen. He brings this project, he wanted to bring the glory and beauty of the lakes Bengaluru was once known for. Anand adopted his first lake in September 2016 at the ‘Bring Back’, the Lake event organized by the Government of Karnataka. He says all the tools and skills learned in engineering was put to use in this project in optimizing time, movement of the vehicle, consumption of diesel etc. For eight months, he researched and learned all he could on lakes through various studies. The next step was to get the villagers on board. He visited about 200 families, went door to door and spoke to everyone from the youngest to the oldest and tried getting them to understand the value of preserving the lake.
How did they do?
The team almost removed 4 lakh cubic meters of mud from the lake. This mud was then used to create five islands of 110 diameters each, all across the lake, in only ten days. These islands now serve as nesting areas for birds.
“A total of 18,000 saplings, 3,000 fruit bearings of 22 varieties, 3,000 native species of plants, and 2,000 ayurvedic plants, now populate the lake area, providing it with a bounty of natural treasures. A total of 1,500 volunteers came together to plant trees in the forests near the lake in a record time of 1 hour and 45 minutes,” says Anand.
The work eventually followed with the plantation of saplings and the creation of two Japanese Miyawaki forests on the lake.
Anand used four JCB’s and six truck and cleared the mud. They created five islands, 3.2-kilometer walking and jogging track. He defined the lake in such a way that 60 percent is water body and 40 percent is a green belt. With a budget for the plantation, he approached an organization who provided this project with saplings to need for the green belt. Anand wanted to start planting the green belt of June 5. In a span of a year and a half, Anand has managed to revive over three lakes. On June 5, 2017, the lake was entirely transformed, paving the way for Anand, a lake conservationist, to save the rest of the lakes, independently.
On his plans for the future, he adds, with 42 more lakes to be saved, Anand has already planned his next project at Gavi and Nanjapura Lakes, with a plan to transform the latter into ‘one of the best’ wetlands in India. “I have plans to revive lakes in zone 1,2,3,4 in Bengaluru. By 2025, I want to reach the target over 45 lakes Says Anand.
“ Nature does not require only money, but willpower and a collective effort. It is my dream to give this city one of the best wetlands in the country. Nanajapura lake is the best spot for that, and we also plan to create a bird sanctuary, thus giving the ecological cycle, a healthy wind!” Anand concludes.
Information source: Deccan Chronicle