The current pandemic has affected everyone in our country and, indeed, the whole world. EAB prays for the wellbeing of every living being on our planet.
The pandemic has not stopped EAB from forging ahead with its activities. EAB is proud of its active office-bearers and members, especially, Sri Kumaraswamy, Sri Bhaskar, Sri Thirumalarao, Sri Mukesh Iyer, Sri Laksh Kumar and others.
EAB is also proud of being in partnership with Sri Subbaiah, Sri Ramachandra Gowda and others of the Oxford English School, Devanahalli and Smt Usha Shetty and others of the Gramaantara Trust, Bengaluru.
EAB has also been very fortunate in getting the support of the Zilla Panchayats of Bengaluru Rural District and Chickaballapura District and some Grama Panchayats. EAB is deeply grateful to all its friends, well-wishers and supporters.
In April, EAB managed to take up the following activities –
We have entered the month of May 2021. The pandemic does not show any signs of leaving us anytime soon. We continue to pray for the wellbeing of every living being on Earth.
EAB will also continue to do its bit for the welfare of the people, especially, in the villages. EAB requests the support and co-operation of one and all. Thank you.
A few months ago, there was a brainstorming session among the Directors. Mrs Seema Ramesh, an energetic and enterprising Director came up with an exciting idea. Why not EAB take up a lake restoration project? Everyone thought that it was a great idea. Dr Nadadur, President, gave this project the name, Keregala Koogu or the Calling of the Lakes.
Sri Subbaiah, a senior Life Member suggested that the Madanayakanahalli Lake, which is a small one, may be taken up for restoration. This experience would be useful for EAB to plan on taking up more and bigger lakes. This idea was accepted by all. A letter was set to the Deputy Commissioner of the Bengaluru Rural District, seeking his permission to take up the restoration of the Madanayakanahalli Lake. The permission was duly received. EAB is now all set to have a Detailed Project Report (DPR) prepared and take up its first lake for restoration. The following are the salient features of this project –
1. Removing weeds.
2. Clearing silt.
3. Fencing off the lake. Also having a gate, so that entry-exit can be controlled.
4. Creating an embankment between the fence and the water body. There may be stone-pitching or revetment with vegetation, on the embankment, for some distance from the water body. This will help to prevent soil erosion.
5. Creating a walking track on the embankment, close to the fence.
6. The rest of the embankment area between the fence and the water body, include the revetment or stone-pitching area, may be covered with vegetation – plants and shrubs. Medicinal plants, flowering plants and shrubs can be grown there. They will let water into the lake and prevent soil erosion and silt flowing into the lake.
7. The inlets for water to flow into the lake will be freed from all obstruction. They may be lined with stone- revetment and also vegetation so that only water flows into the lake and soil erosion is prevented.
8. The outlet from the lake will also be cleared. Most of our lakes have been built in cascades with overflow water going from one lake to another, several hundreds of years ago. So, the overflow water will have a waterway. All debris and obstructive material will be removed from the waterway.
9. All work like removing weeds, removing silt, planting plants and shrubs, creating a fence – all such work will be done manually.
10. Extensive use will be made of the MGNREGA so that there is participation of the local Grama Panchayat and the villagers. This will give them a stake in the project.
11. The silt that is removed will be sold or given free to the landholding families in the village, so that it can be used in their lands.
12. Even before the work is taken up, there will be a meeting of the villagers. A small committee will be formed and given the responsibility of working alongside the project managers and also looking after the lake after the work is completed.
13. If the committee so desires, they may introduce fish in the lake and arrange for fishing rights with the permission of the Grama Panchayat.
14. The committee may also decide on the sale of the produce from plants and shrubs with the permission of the Grama Panchayat.
15. The project estimate will have a material component and a labour component. The material component must be taken care of by EAB, Graamanthara Trust and other partners. The Grama Panchayat must be responsible for the labour component. Hence, there will be a MOU with Graamanthara Trust and also the Grama Panchayat.
EAB welcomes suggestions and advise from all well-wishers. EAB also invites all environment Lovers to join in this lake restoration project.
PLEASE GET BACK TO US TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS PROJECT AND HOW YOU CAN BE A PART OF THIS ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY PROJECT....
1. With back to back flooding in the last three years( 2018 ,2019& 2020)no apparent lessons seem to have been learnt from recurring disasters in Kodagu. The birthplace of river Cauvery is atop Tala-Kaveri is a pilgrimage center & the Indigenous Kodavas , a nature worshiping community consider themselves as the offspring of the river. Every momentous occasion of the kodavas is marked by some association with goddess Cauvery.
2. In the month of July 2020 the chief priest of the Talacauvery temple, his wife, & three others were buried alive in landslides caused not just the rains but also the not so thoughtful developmental activities at Tala-Kaveri & Bhagamandala ( Foot hills)The genesis of the problem goes back to six years when the civic authorities started using bulldozers & earth movers to level land for construction activities like resorts, creating water bodies, broadening roads etc. Such like activities were taken up in most places in Coorg. It was a tragedy that hyper power cables were drawn across Kodagu by cutting over 50,000 trees to supply power to Kerala. All environmental protection recommendations like professor Gadgil & Dr Kasturirangan reports went to deaf ears of politicians with selfish motives thus making the civil administration slack.
3. Reasons for land slides across Malnad districts was landslides due to environmental degradation which triggered extensive damages not only in Kodagu but in chikkamangaluru, Dakshina & Uttara Kannada, Dharwad etc. Add to all the woes are the indisciplined tourists mostly software types turning the area into picnic spots with their food packages & liquor bottles thrown around as waste.
4. There is an urgent need to declare Kodagu as an environmental Sensitive Zone. Can the authorities “WAKE UP” Please.
It was in late-2019 that Dr R G Nadadur, President of the Environment Association of Bangalore (EAB) had a discussion with Mrs. Gayatri Devi, Block Education Officer of Devanahalli Block in Bengaluru Rural District.
The meeting was an exploratory one as EAB was trying to look at some new and innovative and useful projects to take up. Mrs. Gayatri Devi mentioned that she was facing a problem of drop-out of girl students at the High School level. This was causing her a lot of worry.
The usual reasons that were given for drop-out of girl students at the High School level are – the need for the elder girls to look after younger siblings at home, to do work at home so that the mother can work outside and earn, to work outside and earn some money for the family, etc. Mrs Gayatri Devi was candid and told Dr Nadadur that a serious problem was the lack of water in the toilets in schools. Boys could manage somehow but, the shy girls at the High School level really could not. Hence, they just dropped out of school.
Dr Nadadur and his team brainstormed and came up with an idea. This was to take up Rain Water Harvesting in the schools. The problem of non-supply of water from the usual source, was acutely felt during the Summer months before school closed for the vacation. If water was stored during the Monsoon, it could be used during the Summer months.
This idea was shared with Mrs Gayatri Devi and her team. They found it to be a good one and requested Dr Nadadur to take up the Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) work in two schools as soon as possible. One was the Government Girls High School in Devanahalli Town. The other was the Government Higher Primary School in Yaliyur, which was about 20 kilometers from Devanahalli Town.
The two RWH works were taken up with the funds that were available with EAB. There was also some financial support from the Graamanthara Trust, led by Mrs Usha Shetty. The planning for the two projects was done with support from the Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology, especially Dr Vijay. The projects were executed with the support of the Oxford English School, Devanahalli, especially Mr K M Subbaiah and Mr Ramachandra Gowda.
The RWH Project of EAB involves construction of a sump which can store a large quantity of water. The water is harvested during the monsoon, from the terraces of buildings in the school. When required, the stored rain water is pumped from the sump to different overhead tanks. The water is used for toilets, especially girls toilets, and also for washing and cleaning.
Two projects have been completed and dedicated to the schools. A third RWH Project has been taken up in the Government High School in Narayanapura, about 25 kilometers from Devanahalli Town. It is expected to be completed by the end of September 2020. It will be dedicated to the school soon after.
Recently, EAB received feedback that there are enquiries about admissions in the two schools where RWH has been done. EAB is optimistic that the RWH projects will help to improve the attendance of girl students at the High School level. EAB thanks various organizations and individuals for their kind support. EAB seeks the support of all like-minded persons and organizations in executing many more RWH projects in Government Schools in Devanahalli Block