Administration plans to develop it into a tourist spot

The picturesque Mannu Palla lake is all set to get a new look in about a month’s time with the construction of a jogging track and a walking track under way.

The 40 acres of land surrounding this 60-acre lake will be developed. The lake is currently surrounded by many trees, making the area pleasant and cool.

A small half-acre island in the midst of the lake adds to its beauty. This island, which was constructed during the development of the lake a few years ago, is a treat to watch as many birds perch on the trees and chirp.

The development of the 100 acres areas is supervised by the Mannu Palla Development Committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner M.T. Reju. Dr. Reju said the district administration had submitted a proposal of Rs. 5 crore to the Departments of Tourism and Urban Development in March this year for the development of the lake and its surroundings. The Department of Tourism had released Rs. 80 lakh in the first phase, he said.

This amount is now being used to build a 2km-long 6ft-wide jogger’s track with interlock tiles around the lake. Another 6ft-wide soil-base walkers’ track is also being constructed alongside. The walkers’ track expects to benefit the senior citizens who go for walks.

As many as 36 granite benches and 40 lampposts are being installed. Except for about 25 Acacia trees, no other trees were felled for the construction of the tracks. Nearly 1,500 saplings of local varieties were planted in the 40-acre area to enhance its green cover. Some shrubs would be planted for landscaping.

All these works are being carried out by the Nirmiti Kendra. “We will complete all these works by the third week of January,” said Arun Kumar, Project Director of the Kendra.

Future plans

Two connecting roads would be built to the Mannu Pala Lake area — one from Anant Nagar side, another from the Dr. T.M.A. Pai Planetarium side. Three security check posts would be built at three different locations.

A two-acre parking area would be constructed near the lake to accommodate 100 four-wheelers and 100 two-wheelers. Green zones would be built in three different locations. They would together occupy four acres. Each zone would have about 60 trees. Here, in the shade of trees, swing sets, slides and see-saws would be installed for children to play with.

“A concrete compound wall would be constructed around the 100-acre to prevent encroachment. This alone would cost Rs. 1.5 crore,” Mr. Kumar said.

Water sports

An adventure water sports centre by the Department of Youth Empowerment is expected to come up in about 2.5 acres near the lake in a couple of months.

“It will take up boating and other adventure water sports activities. It will function from make-shift buildings. No permanent buildings will be allowed in the area,” Dr. Reju said.

The district administration is considering to collect a fee of Rs. 15 or Rs. 30 per month per person from daily joggers and walkers, in addition to a fee from tourists, which could be used for maintenance of the 100-acre area.

The plan for developing the area might take about two years. “We want to increase the depth of the lake every year to increase its water-holding capacity. Our main aim is to preserve and protect the area and develop it into a picnic or tourist spot,” Dr. Reju said.

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