World Environment Day special Bengaluru

New water body for Whitefield

Whitefield is now getting the much-required lung space with the Brigade Group stepping in to rejuvenate the Sitarampalya Lake covering nearly 23.37 acres of land. The neglected lake is now brimming with water and is almost ready with restoration activities. It will be handed over to the BDA in June for maintenance, according to a spokesperson of the Brigade Group.

Explains M.R. Jaishankar, CMD, Brigade Group: “We took up the rejuvenation project as part of our CSR activity (Corporate Social Responsibility). In the beginning of 2014 when we saw the Sitarampalya Lake the abuse was quite apparent. From weeds to construction debris the lake was almost imperceptible. That was when we decided to revive it in association with the NGO, Tropical Research Development Corporation. Today the lake is abundant with life. The revival project has cost us nearly Rs. 1.5 crore. We will be in a position to handover the Sitarampalya Lake management to the BDA, well in line with understanding in the Detailed Project Report that we had submitted to the Lake Development Authority (LDA) last year.”

Explains Manjunath Prasad, COO, Brigade Group: “The lake was cleaned, and a bund formed all round with granite stones to protect it from eroding. Feeder channels like the ground-courses carrying rainwater were brought in along with gradients to see catchment water reaching the lake easily during rains.”

The lake has two parts to it with an island brought in-between along with trees for visual appeal, says Mr. Prasad. “We have designed the two sides of the lake in such a way that one would act as an overflow-lake with water flowing onto the other when the collection is copious enough. There is a central bund that has with pipes underneath to see the water flow without any problem,” he explains.

The lake is already said to be attracting several species of birds with Herons and Indian Cormorants being spotted there. The bund all around has a 450-metre walking track with interlocking pavers. While people can sit around and enjoy the breeze from nearly 5,000 trees brought into the lake vicinity from the Brigade Group, it’s the seating and the children’s play area that gathers attention.

Nu-algae has been introduced into the water to reduce nitrous activity and bring down the growth of weeds.

Sitarampalya lake would soon have Dr. Seenappa from the Department of Fisheries bringing in nearly 5,000 of five different fish species including Katla, Tilapia and the large group of the Carp variety before it is handed over to the BDA in June. “With things much in place now, the lake will need just three rain cycles to be restored to its past glory,” says Mr. Prasad adding that the neighbourhoods of Whitefield would have a lively water body added up to the environment-map of the locale.

Lakes in Bengaluru city region have been constructed from the 16th Century by damming the natural valley systems by constructing bunds.

  • » With mindless urbanisation and in the absence of an Urban Commission, just 25 good lakes exist as against 51 in 1985.
  • » Most lakes were converted into bus stands, golf courses, playgrounds and residential colonies, and a few tanks were breached under the malaria eradication programme.
  • » The earliest history of the creation of lakes is traced to the founders of Bengaluru – the Kempe Gowdas – and later the Wadiyars of Mysore and the British.
  • » Most lakes were man-made, and they were observed to constructively influence microclimate. Lakes and tanks were used for drinking water, irrigation and fishing.
  • » The lakes replenished groundwater resources in the vicinity and were tapped through wells for drinking water.
  • * From 280 lakes and tanks in the 1960s, the number dwindled to less than 80 in 1993.
  • » Until 1895 unfiltered water was supplied from tanks like Dharmambudhi (Majestic Bus station), Millers Tank (opp. Cantonment railway station), Sankey Tank and Ulsoor Lake. 1896 saw water being supplied from Hesaraghatta, and 1933, from Thippagondanahalli.
  • * In the 1970s the scheme to pump water from the Cauvery began, which is 100 km away.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 7:45:00 AM |

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