Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dying lakes become classrooms

Dying lakes become classrooms

17 architecture students will finalise designs for reviving two water bodies within a month

Sunitha Rao R. Bangalore

For the first time ever, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has involved students of architecture in its efforts to rejuvenate the lakes in the city.
On BBMP's request, 17 students of first and third semesters of Masters in Architecture (Urban Design) from RV College of Architecture, are all set to assist the civic body in its efforts to revive the Dorekere and Puttenahalli lakes.
Speaking to DNA, Dr KS Ananthakrishna, director of the architecture school, said that this real time experience would greatly help these students in further enhancing their knowledge and understanding of urban design.
Anitha Suseelan, an assistant professor at the college, is the project co-ordinator.
"Students can do a much better work than professional architects as they have a more research-oriented mindset, when compared to
professionals," Anitha Suseelan
Talking about the Dorekere lake, Anjan Kumar, a first semester student, who is part of this 17-student group, said, "Not only should the lake be made useful for research work, it should have multiple recreational facilities."
On December 1, the students had met the residents of Padmanabhanagar to discuss the various possibilities in rejuvenating the lake.
Anjan suggested that the lake and its surrounding area should be so developed that it becomes the perfect recreational place for the students of several schools in the locality. Anjan felt that it would be a good idea if the lake area housed a playground, a wetland, jetty, coffee shop, yoga centre, an island, a pathway, jogging track and a plaza.
Students think that citizens should be educated about the importance of lakes so that they do not dump garbages there.
Niloofar Rahmatollahi, an Iranian national pursuing the MArch course in RV college and a project participant said, "In Iran, we make the best possible use of our natural reserves and resources. Even though compared to Iran, Bangalore has a vast bio-diversity, people here are very careless about their natural resources. This attitude must change and the public must participate in beautifying the city."
The BBMP also plans to construct cycle lanes in areas surroundings the lakes.
Sagar, one of the research students said, "We can encourage eco-tourism in Bangalore; a trip starting from Bugle Rock in Lalbagh, to Sarakki tank via Yediyur lake, Madiwala lake and Puttenahalli tank can be planned."
The students have also surveyed Sarakki tank, which was rejuvenated by the BBMP in 2007.
"Though it was rejuvenated, the tank has not been properly maintained. The lake has shrunk and is almost dry now and filled with weeds," said Annapurna V Hishobkar, an M Arch student and project participant.
Also there is a drastic drop in the number of birds visiting the lakes, which, the students said, is a clear biological indicator to the extent
of damage meted out to the water bodies.
The students will hand over their proposed designs to the authorities within a month.
"If we are permitted, we will be more than happy to monitor the implementation of our designs," said the students and staff involved in the project


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