Bangalore Lakes: Once a symbol of a pristine environment, Lake Hosakerehalli is begging to be rejuvenated
Spread over 59.36 acres, Hosakerehalli Lake once symbolized the pristine environment. Today, not only does it receive sewage from a storm sewer, but it has also turned into a black spot.
Seven acres of the lake were encroached. According to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), six acres have been encroached by a private body and 0.26 acres by the government.
Activist Ram Kumar BK said: “The condition of the lake has deteriorated over the past three years. It is one of the largest and most beautiful lakes but poorly maintained. Waste collected from houses and poultry is dumped into the lake. I even documented the dumping of medical waste.
Kumar said activists would likely relocate the court by the end of the year to have the lake fenced and clear of encroachments. “Untreated sewage from Saptagiri Layout enters the lake. Boreholes dug in the bed of the lake must also be removed. Lake restoration funds are not being used for this purpose,” he said.
Over a thousand migratory birds have been found in the kae over the past decade, according to Kumar., who believes the lake should be turned into a bird sanctuary. “In the past, we had approached the BBMP to deploy marshals to the edge of the lake so no one dumps rubbish, but even that didn’t happen,” he said.
The Comptroller and Auditor General said in a September 2021 report: “In the Vrishabhavathi Valley, the drain passing along the edge of Hosakerehalli Lake has been reshaped and diverted to cross the lake, thereby reducing the area of the lake.
Last week, local residents and the non-profit organization Jhatkaa.org organized a lakeside cleanup and awareness activity.
“Unsorted waste ends up in landfills, causing waste to burn and thus creating air pollution. This affects our health in the long term and creates dangerous spaces for citizens. But if we citizens gather , anything or everything can be solved. As citizens of Namma City, we need to segregate waste at source so that our parks and lakes are safe spaces,” said Chiku Agarwal of Jhatkaa.org , adding that after the cleanup, BBMP marshals issue fines to those found littering.
Kiran Rao, a local resident, also said garbage was the major problem and the lack of fencing made the lake vulnerable. The beautiful walking path around the lake is also littered with trash. “Since last week, after a clean-up campaign was carried out, marshals have been imposing fines on those who throw away the garbage,” Rao said.
BBMP Special Commissioner (Domains) V Ram Prasath Manohar said the civic body was waiting for funds to rejuvenate the local body. “We plan to restore this lake. We are awaiting funds from the government to carry out the rejuvenation,” Manohar said.
The lake was initially maintained by the Forestry Department and was handed over to the BBMP in 2010. In 2011 the Bangalore Development Authority took over custody of the lake, but it was handed over to the civic body in 2019.
Last week, Horticulture Minister N Munirathna requested Rs 50 crore for the development of the lake. The minister has requested Rs 100 crore to restore Hosakerehalli and Kenchanahalli lakes in March 2021. However, only Rs 10 crore has been allocated but no work has been undertaken on either lake.