Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fresh lease of life for Mestripalya lake on cards

Fresh lease of life for Mestripalya lake on cards
Poornima Nataraj, Bangalore, April 17, DH News Service:

Mestripalya Lake, one of the numerous lakes in the City which was on the verge of extinction has now a glimmer of hope for revival, thanks to the efforts by a group of friends.


The lake has become an indispensable part of childhood memory for this group of friends determined to save the lake located in 4th Block, Koramangala.

“I used to cycle around the lake. Me and my friends used to spot rabbits and tortoises in the vicinity. I even remember spotting a jackal here. Now, I am keen on restoring the lake,” Vishwanath Kashap, one of the members behind the initiative recalled.

However, it is saddening that the residents dump garbage and debris in the lake and rear cattle and poultry, Kashap added.

These friends are now part of a Residents’ Welfare Association and had filed a ‘public interest litigation’ to restore the lake.

Mestripalya lake was in litigation in the Supreme Court for the past three years as Hanumaiah, a local landlord, had claimed the lake as his ancestral property. The Apex Court has ruled in favour of the State Government.

The Lake Development Authority (LDA) intends to begin the revival work once the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) declares the area as Civic Amenity (CA) property.

Urbanisation

It has come as a surprise to many that Mestripalya lake spread over 11.21 acres and was once brimming with water.

Koramangala has already lost two of its lakes, Sinivagalu Tank Bed (ST) and the other one at National Games Village to rampant urbanisation.

Loss of these lake beds has now caused waterlogging during rainy season.
Thus, restoring Mestripalya lake will not only help harvest rainwater but will also lead to recharging of the ground water, explained Govardhan Reddy, one of the group members.
U V Singh, Chief Conservator of Forests, LDA said he had already written to the BDA to notify the area as a CA property and awaiting its reply.

"All lake beds in Bangalore have been encroached upon and this lake is no an exception. Since the Lakshman Rau Committee report recommends preservation of lakes, there should be no obstacle in reviving Mestripalya lake," he added. Sources from BDA said that it is likely to reply to LDA’s letter shortly.

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