Friday, April 23, 2010

Two lakes dying a slow death

wo lakes dying a slow death
Rashmi Menon

Vidyaranyapura is a quaint, residential ward that has seen rapid development in the last few years. Yet, a couple of years ago, the area hit the headlines for its stray dog menace.

While the residents say that the problem has come down to a large extent, it still persists. “There are still plenty of stray dogs in the area. Some of my friends who come late at night have to look out for them, as they chase the vehicles,” said Vinay V, who resides in NTI Layout. In fact, Manju Siddhan, another resident, said that his son was often chased by strays.

Apart from the stray dogs, the residents are also troubled by monkeys, who roam in packs. BEL Layout resident Priya Chetan feels that it is a major problem that needs to be addressed immediately. “We can’t keep our windows open because they come inside and take away eatables. They spoil things around,” she lamented.

Besides the animal problem, residents also complained about uneven and ill-maintained footpaths, unscheduled load shedding and inconsistent Cauvery water supply. “The Corporator should have some kind of grievance cell or organise meetings with residents once a month. It will create a forum where residents and the Corporator can meet to discuss the issues in the ward and come up with a solution,” suggested Navin P from HMT Layout.

Vidyaranyapura is blessed with two lakes – Narsipur Lake and the ‘boating lake’ – which provide an excellent green cover. Unfortunately, both are dying a slow death. Vinay says that a decade ago people would come from different parts of the City for boating in the lake. “I believe it was the second best lake after Ulsoor. Now, it is filled with weed,” he said. Some residents feel that it has become a den for drug addicts after dark.

As for Narsipura Lake, although people come to walk around the lake in the evening, the place is filled with snakes and the lake is unkempt. Priya, along with some residents, had organised a signature campaign for development and proper maintenance of the lake, last June. They collected about 350 signatures, which were sent to the Forest Department that is in-charge of the lake area. However, they have not received any response. “There is no communication between the Forest department and BBMP. If a dialogue is established then we could save the lake,” she observed.

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