Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lake drained

BANGALORE: Bird watchers of the city were in for a surprise on a Sunday morning, when they found their favourite lake, Kommaghatta, (near Kengeri) drained and empty. Appalled, they went back home in dismay, thinking that another lake had met with a tragic death.
However, officials of the BDA (Bangalore Development Authority) clarified that the lake was not being killed.
On the contrary, it is being rejuvenated. And that is what it has been drained out for.
“This morning I felt like meeting some waders and headed out to Kommaghatta lake near Kengeri with my friend,” says Garima Bhatia, who being a chemical engineer and an avid bird watcher.
Garima is also a member of the group BULBs ( Bangalore Urban Lady-Birders).
Garima says she had been there only twice before - once in June with her friend who has documented 100 bird species of this lake and then in July.
“But to our surprise, we found that the entire lake bed had been drained and dredged up, and the reed beds at the periphery which were buzzing with munias and streaked weavers, only a few months back have been completely cleared. I had never dreamt that I would be walking on the lake bed instead of along it,” she says.
When Garima asked around, a few locals informed her that the lake was being converted to a park and that the work had started at least a month ago.
No need to panic When contacted, BDA officials said that there was no cause of worry. “As part of the Rs 104-crore lake development project, 12 lakes were handed over to the BDA for dredging, creating walking paths, installing chain-link fences and making provisions for boating and security,” a BDA official said. BDA official Puttanna told Expresso, “We are rejuvenating this lake as part of the lake development programme. At the moment we are removing the silt from the lake bed. In around 12 months, this lake will be developed as the lung space for the people around this area.”

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