Update from Priya Ramasubban, one of our active residents, working on improving Kaikondrahalli Lake.

As most of you who frequent the lake would have noticed, we now have security guards in place and lots of deweeding and maintanence work going on.  Phase II of BBMP’s work – i.e. leveling the pathways, creating a separate cycling path, putting up the new fence and gates; creating play spaces and exercise spaces; etc. – has started last week and we are hoping the contractors will finish the work by the end of the year.

The lake post-rejuvenation shows vast expanse of water. Pic: Sohel Mohamed/BR Srivatsa

Also, the toilets that Wipro has sponsored are also being constructed near the school. So there’ll be a buzz of activity for the next few months. And after that, we’ll have the peace and quiet we are used to at the lake, but with improved facilities! It’ll be a Win,Win for our community!

There is one restrictions that we will be temporarily imposing at the lake for the next few months.  We have asked the security guards to stop people from coming to the lake between 9.30 am and 4.30 am (Of course,  no one is allowed in between sunset and sunrise as a permanent rule).  We had several complaints from women who were harassed by men on the far side of the lake, especially when very few other people were at the lake.  

Also in the early afternoons, people were going to the grove in the back of the lake and gambling, drinking, creating ruckus and leaving behind a mess of bottles. We are trying to track down who the miscreants are…but in the meantime, for the safety and security of all of us who go to the lake, we have restricted entry.  Once we feel confident that we can handle the problem with our security guards, we’ll remove the restriction.

As many of you know, a few of us from the community have been working hard to rejuvenate this lake from early 2008. We worked very closely with elected representatives and BBMP officials to get the lake to the stage it is at today.  

As a natural next step, we as a community have been asked by the BBMP to get actively involved in maintaining the lake and making sure that is remains a healthy lake by monitoring activities that affect the lake…like ensuring that sewage doesn’t flow in, water inlets are kept clean, pathways and facilities at the lake are maintained and that people who visit the lake feel safe  using the lake.  

Forward 150 members with the trash collected during a cleanup drive in May. The cache included almost hundred odd Yellow Pages directories. Pic: Meera K

As many of you may be aware, there is another lake in our area – Ambalipura Lake – which had a similar amount of dedication and participation by local residents (especially by Rajesh Rao) in rejuvenating it.  

So we have banded together and formed a Trust to over see the maintenance of these two lakes (we may also work with the BBMP to rejuvenate and maintain other lakes in our area in the future).

Our new Trust is called Mahadevpura Parisara Samrakshane Mattu Abhivrudhi Samiti. Yeah, yeah….I know it’s a mouthful and we haven’t come up with a sassy acronym either! So for now we’ll call ourselves MAPSAS. unless one of you can come up with a creative acronym!  So even if our name is not very catchy, we hope that our enthusiasm and our commitment to our lakes will catch on and become infectious. 

Now back to the story of maintaining the lake…. with the BBMP asking the local community to become an active participant in maintaining and overseeing this community resource, we were looking at raising some funds from our community in addition to asking BBMP support.

In a separate development, an organization called United Way, an NGO that works with corporates on CSR programmes, had contacted the BBMP and expressed interest in paying for the maintenance of several lakes in Bangalore. They promised to raise money through corporations and channel the money to local communities that are working with the BBMP on lake maintenance.

Since we are one such community, the BBMP put them in touch with us and now they will support a major part of the maintenance work at Kaikondarahalli Lake.

On July 31st, United Way is organising a Lake-A-Thon at Kaikondarahalli Lake. Here is the announcement from United Way:

UnitedWay Bengaluru, Forward 150 and Mahadevpura Parisara Abhivrudhi Mattu Samrakshane Samithi is organizing a

LAKE-A-THON

on Sunday, 31st July, 07.00 am

at Kaikondanahalli Lake, on Sarjapura Road,close to Total Mall, Bangalore.

While we’ll all have a pleasant morning walk around the Lake with family and friends, it would be a great opportunity to reaffirm that we care for our LAKES and Environment.

We look forward to your participation at LAKE-A-THON.

To find out more about Lake Rejuvenation Campaign and Lake-a-thon please visit www.uwbengaluru.orgor call 080- 41150394. Visit us on facebook http://www.facebook.com/savingourlakes