By Reena Pillai
United Way Bengaluru in partnership with BBMP, Qualcomm, GE and Whitefield Rising, an urban activist group, which have jointly undertaken the restoration of the Kundanahalli Lake, near Whitefield has completed another milestone in the rejuvenation process.
The Kundalahalli Lake, which was at once point at the brink of dying, was revived at the nick of time under United Way Bengaluru’s ‘Wake the Lake Campaign’ and its unique concept of Community Corporate Partnership.
Says Manish Michael, Executive Director of United Way Bengaluru, “Under our Community Corporate Partnership, we bring together the community members living around the lake or existing Resident Welfare Associations to involve themselves in the development of the lake. We bring interested corporate partners to commit and pour in sufficient funds to ensure that the project is smoothly undertaken from conception to completion.”
The lake has been pumped off all the sewage water and now is ready for the desilting and dredging work to commence. There is a vast amount of black muck which is decades of accumulated silt and degraded waste, now weighing perhaps a thousand tons. After this has been cleaned out, only rain water or treated sewage water will then enter the lake.
Says Arvind Keerthi, an active member of Whitefield Rising, “When dredging is completed, this will be a great win for local aesthetic. It will be a picnic area for all, an urban wildlife refuge, a mini – Lalbagh to visit. But most importantly, it is a huge victory for public health. You will soon see that the seemingly ever-present background odor of sewage will slowly fade away”.
The eco-friendly sewage treatment plant set up at the lake with the support of Qualcomm and GE at the cost of Rs. 2 crore will pump 750 kilo litres of treated water every day.
After the completion of this phase work, United Way Bengaluru will commence work on enhancing the bio-diversity around the lake by planting nearly 10,000 indigenous plants and saplings over a period of three years. This is a crucial step in the restoration process in order to attract a variety of insects, birds and small animals. Finally, United Way Bengaluru will ensure the smooth handover of the lake to the community members or Residents Welfare Associations for its maintenance.