Now, BBMP looking at CSR to rejuvenate lakes

A file photo of Jakkur lake, whose rejuvenation was crowd-funded.   | Photo Credit: G_P_Sampath Kumar

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is exploring avenues of funding for the restoration and rejuvenation of lakes, including Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This comes after Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Thursday chaired a meeting with officials from the BBMP, Minor Irrigation Department, and other departments, where he spoke about the need for a joint effort to revive lakes in and around the city and tapping alternative financial resources, including crowd-funding.

Civic Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar said that the BBMP’s main focus will be on CSR and crowd-funding. “We have placed a proposal of ₹1,253 crore for restoration of lakes before the government. We have asked for more funds as 38 more lakes in the city were handed over to us. The CM has said that he would look into the matter and make provisions in the upcoming budgets,” he said.

‘Crowd-funding needs to be streamlined’

Senior civic officials admitted that tapping into CSR did not yield expected results in the past. “However, if CSR and crowd-funding are streamlined, they can be successful,” said a senior civic official.

Activists and citizens groups believe there is some merit to this idea.

V. Ramprasad, co-founder and convenor of Friends of Lakes, said that the government and the civic body should prepare a robust Detailed Project Reports (DPR) with guidelines to ensure that lakes are scientifically rejuvenated. “The narrative of CSR towards rejuvenation should positively change. If corporates are funding a lake rejuvenation initiative, they should fund it substantially and not just for beautification, which generally is the case. Rejuvenation or restoration means good quality and quantity of water with flora and fauna, not just lights and walking paths,” he said. He also said that crowd funding of lakes is also a viable option.

A senior civic official told The Hindu the BBMP will start preparing a DPR for CSR funding. “This project will be taken up in a time-bound and phased manner,” he said, and added that apart from government funding and CSR, even crowd-funding could be a viable option.

“Jakkur lake is a good example of a successful crowd-funded initiative. A sewage treatment plant (STP) is being built by BEL as a part of CSR at Doddabommasandra lake,” he added.

MoU for six lakes

Meanwhile, the government has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with private companies for development of six lakes, including in Marasandra, Kammasandra, Doddanagamangala, Doddakallasandra. Out of the six lakes, only Doddakallasandra lake comes under BBMP limits.

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Printable version | Oct 29, 2021 3:29:30 AM |

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