Monday, April 26, 2010

Just please let us take care of Madiwala Lake

Just please let us take care of Madiwala Lake

Residents here are concerned that the conservation work is slow-paced

Bosky Khanna. Bangalore.



Not convinced by the government's efforts to save city lakes, Bangaloreans are taking matters into their own hands. Residents of Kuvempu Nagar, BTM Layout Welfare Association, and Bangalore South Residents Welfare and Cultural Association, have come together in a bid to save Madiwala Lake at Begur Hobli, KR Puram, maintained by the forest department.
Residents prepared a 20-point draft plan for saving the lake from encroachment and pollution, which they handed over to the chief minister, the lake development authority, Bangalore development authority, the state forest department, Karnataka state pollution control board and Bangalore water supply and sewerage board early this year. They have, however, not got a response.
"The lake needs to be desilted and rejuvenated. There is also a need to identify and fence its boundary to prevent encroachment. The government has been slow to act. We are willing to take up the task and help the forest department," said A Vidya Shankar, member of a resident's association in the area.
Madiwala Lake floods over annually. Last year, a flock of migratory greater flamingos spent time here. Nearly 100 species of birds, including purple moorhens, egrets, swifts and pelicans find a home here. The lake was earlier spread across 374 acres, but only 273 acres remain. There is also a 45-acre park, under the charge of the forest department.
A forest department official, on condition of anonymity, said that 32 lakes in KR Puram are in need of rejuvenation, but work has been slow. All lakes in the city are set to handed over to the BBMP for maintenance. However, Madiwala will continue to be maintained by the forest department. "A master plan will be made for lake restoration. So far, around Rs3-4 lakh has been spent. We need nearly Rs2crore. The residents want it to be a BBMP park, with lawns and exotic plants; that can't be done; we'll preserve the park as a natural forest. We are conducting a survey to identify encroachers. All this takes time," an official said.

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