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....