Saving India, One Lake At A Time - Join The Lake Revivers Collective | Milaap
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Saving India, One Lake At A Time - Join The Lake Revivers Collective

“City of burning lakes: experts fear Bangalore will be uninhabitable by 2025” – The Guardian
“Is India’s Bangalore doomed to be the next Cape Town?” – BBC
“Bengaluru is dying a thirsty death way too soon, say experts” – The New Indian Express

News and headlines such as these have kept Anand, a 38-year-old techie from Bengaluru, aware of his surroundings for a long time now. Since the time he rejuvenated his first lake, the enormity of the situation, and the need for someone to take action — became crystal clear for him.

“Lakes are the eyes of the earth. They can see. They can monitor. They can tell us about the ecology of the region,” says Anand, who is all set to rejuvenate 45 lakes in the city by 2025. And he has already started the hard work, single-handedly.

Once dotted with numerous beautiful water bodies that helped it earn the name, ‘city of lakes’, Bengaluru is now always in the headlines because of how a lake is frothing here, another lake is being encroached there, and the stench of yet another one is making life miserable for those living nearby. From 262 water bodies in Bengaluru in 1960, the figure has declined to 81, of which only 34 are currently alive.
In a city bubbling with pollution, over-population, traffic, and dying lakes — Anand is a man on a mission. Someone who can talk about lakes, environment, and the power of one for hours on end and who has shown that if we as individuals get down to it, we can save this city and the environment at large. And we can start today!

The Lake Revivers Collective:



On February 15, 2019, The Better India published an article about Anand’s work. That single story about that single man’s initiative, opened the floodgates of responses from across the country and the world — of people and organisations who want to join him, who want to help, and who want to learn from him.

Our own passionate interest in doing something for the environment led us to a meeting with Anand — one that led to the birth of Lake Revivers Collective. Inspired by all the amazing responses we received, we asked Anand if he would like to work with us and our readers towards achieving his goal. And without a blink of an eye, Anand said yes.

The Lake Revivers Collective is an initiative by which The Better India and its readers will help Anand reach his goal of saving Bengaluru, one lake at a time.

On World Water Day 2019, we are starting with Gavi Kere, a 3-acre lake in Anekal Taluk of Bengaluru South, which will be transformed into a model lake with the help of your contributions.

Work Done So Far: 

Speaking to The Better India, Anand shares details of a few recent successes that gave Bengaluru some of its prized lakes back.

The first, he says, was the 36-acre water body, Kyalasanahalli Lake near Anekal, which was restored in only 45 days! Anand designed and executed the rehabilitation procedure with the help of nearby communities, including several techies from Electronic City.

“We began the work on April 20, 2017, with a budget of Rs 1 crore and 17 lakh, provided by Sansera Foundation. We needed help and reached out to the nearby community with the help of a senior citizen, B Muthuraman (74). Together, we covered almost 400 houses to spread awareness. Eventually, people began to show up, and joined hands to work long hours to make this possible,” says Anand. He was Sansera’s CSR head at the time.

Without the help of industry experts, architects or engineers, Anand, a mechanical engineer, along with fellow citizens, removed almost 4 lakh cubic meters of mud from the lake.

This mud was then used to create five islands of 110 diameters each, all across the lake, in only ten days. These islands now serve as nesting areas for birds, with a huge tree planted in the middle for nests, as well as fruit-bearing and flower saplings around.


“A total of 18,000 saplings, 3,000 fruit bearing trees of 22 varieties, 3,000 native species of plants, and 2,000 ayurvedic plants, now populate the lake area, providing it with a bounty of natural treasures,” he adds.

The next step was to remove around 1 lakh cubic meter of mud from the lake and fill it with water. “When I first visited the spot, it was a disaster. Such a huge lake had dried up, and villagers were using it as a playground or dumping their waste. From that, we went on to create an oasis,” exclaims Anand.

Two canals of the stormwater drain were diverted 1.8 km away, and then the September rains showered their magic, restoring life to a lake which had been dead for the past 35 years.

The work eventually followed with the plantation of saplings and the creation of two Japanese Miyawaki forests on the lake. “It’s a unique procedure, and we created forests of almost 25,000 sq feet with more than 5,000 plants. A total of 1,500 volunteers came together to plant trees in the forests in a record time of 1 hour and 45 minutes,” says Anand.

He adds that the design was made keeping in mind the long-term aspects of sustainability. And so, the area surrounding the lake was not only protected by plants but also turfed with natural grass to save it from soil erosion.

On June 5, 2017, the lake was entirely transformed, paving the way for Anand, a lake conservationist, to save the rest of the lakes, independently.

“After completing Kyalasanahalli Lake, I had found my calling, and so, I left my job, and began to work on other lakes, all on my own. The next stop was Vabasandra Lake near Bommasandra,” he says.

With funding to the tune of Rs 75 lakh from Hewlett-Packard (HP), he began the work on April 5, 2018, and in two months, the 9-acre area of the lake was transformed into a 50 ft deep water reservoir.

Following this, the next target was 16-acres of Konasandra Lake.


“It was in a situation worse than the foam-filled Bellandur lake when we found it. The pollution had changed the water to a toxic gel-like substance, making it one of the most poisonous lakes in the city. This was the doing of the industries and pharmaceutical companies in the area. But then, one of them, Hikal Ltd, decided to alter the damage and helped us with a fund of Rs 81 lakh to rejuvenate it,” Anand proudly says.

This work began on November 3, 2018, and was completed on February 3, 2019.

The Larger Dream: 



Explaining his process and plan for the next 6 years, Anand says that he has divided Bengaluru into 4 zones, the first one being in the south. “Zone 1 has the Hennagara lake. About 11 streams flow into this lake and each stream is made up of 3-5 smaller lakes. This is how I have reached the number 45. Gavi Kere is the first lake of the first stream in this zone. The other two on that stream have already been revived.”

And this is what we are starting with. The revival of Gavi Kere needs Rs. 15 Lakh for the following: 

Rs. 8 Lakh: Desilting and Bund-Strengthening of the lake.
Rs. 4 Lakh: Inlets and Outlets Modification
Rs. 3 Lakh: Setting up of water inlet concrete pipes all around.

Join The Lake Revivors Collective and help save Bengaluru, one lake at a time.
Ask for an update
8th July 2019
Dear Supporters,

Thank you once again for coming out in large numbers and helping us reach our goal. As we wait for the rains to fill Gavi Kere, we are preparing for a tree plantation drive around the lake as well. We will keep you updated about the same so we can all get together and help create a thriving, sustainable environment around this beautiful lake.

Thank you once again!
Dear Supporters,

Thank you once again for coming out in large numbers and helping us reach our goal. As we wait for the rains to fill Gavi Kere, we are preparing for a tree plantation drive around the lake as well. We will keep you updated about the same so we can all get together and help create a thriving, sustainable environment around this beautiful lake.

Thank you once again!
17th June 2019
Dear Supporters,

Thank you for the wonderful support. Here is a quick update about the work at Gavi Kere, it is going well. This is what the lake looks like at present:





We are also raising an additional sum of Rs. 200,000 for tree plantation around the lake, which will help in the overall ecological development in the region. Do share and support, will keep you posted.

Thank you!
Dear Supporters,

Thank you for the wonderful support. Here is a quick update about the work at Gavi Kere, it is going well. This is what the lake looks like at present:





We are also raising an additional sum of Rs. 200,000 for tree plantation around the lake, which will help in the overall ecological development in the region. Do share and support, will keep you posted.

Thank you!
28th May 2019
Dear Supporters,

Thank you for the wonderful support. We are happy to announce that the first phase of The Lake Revivers Collective has begun, and Anand has started the reviving process. Here are some details:
  1. Date of work initiation: April 25, 2019
  2. Area: 3 acres (approx).
  3. Gavi Kere is the first lake of Zone 1, Stream 1. 
  4. Height: 70 feet above Hennagara Lake (Water flows down to Hennagara lake from Gavi lake from a height of 70 feet).
  5. Depth: 30 feet
  6. Rejuvenation duration: 40 days
  7. Current Design: Traditionally constructed lake using a stepwell design
Anand plans to transform this into a deep water reservoir so that water flows into all the lakes that fall in Zone 1. Gavi lake flows into Vabasandra lake, which flows into Kyalasanahalli lake, which flows into Bandenallasandra lake, which finally flows into Hennagara Lake.

A stream-wise rejuvenation is meant to ensure planned and effective maintenance. This ensures that all the lakes in the said zone will continue to keep each other alive and thriving.

Condition of the lake (Before Rejuvenation)

  1. For the last 30 years, the lake has been used as a dump yard for industries around the area. Over the years, the lake completely dried out and filled with solid chemical and industrial waste.
  2. A hill adjacent to the lake was being used for stone mining until a few years ago. This 6-acre quarry is now over 60 feet. So this will be turned into a water reservoir and used to complement the lake. This is being done to ensure a steady flow of water in all the lakes of the zone, throughout the year.
Rejuvenation Plan and Process:

  1. The stepwell design of the lake will be utilised as a natural filter. As per the plan, the steps that were initially paved with stone slabs will now be replaced with aquatic plants, which will filter the water when it rises to their level/ They also serve as a natural decoration.
  2. 80% of the total budget is being utilised for employment generation, i.e. on labour.
  3. No new construction material is being used to rejuvenate the lake. All the waste material around the area is being recycled and used for the project. Surrounded by industries, the lake was full of solid waste, which is being segregated and reused for construction work. For instance, concrete waste blocks will be used for the foundation, while waste bricks will be used for the inlets.
  4. To stop soil erosion, Anand plans to plant Wedelia saplings that not only hold the soil firmly but also stifle weed growth, thus making maintenance easy. Also, the yellow Wedelia flowers grow throughout the year, ensuring that the lake serves as a natural hub for pollination by bees and butterflies.
  5. The restoration work is expected to be completed by the end of May. Post that, a plantation drive will begin from the second week of June.
  6. More than 1500 volunteers are expected to join in to plant 1000 saplings of herbs, medicinal plants, fruits, vegetables, flowers and shrubs.
Keep sharing and supporting. Will keep you posted. 

Thank you!
Dear Supporters,

Thank you for the wonderful support. We are happy to announce that the first phase of The Lake Revivers Collective has begun, and Anand has started the reviving process. Here are some details:
  1. Date of work initiation: April 25, 2019
  2. Area: 3 acres (approx).
  3. Gavi Kere is the first lake of Zone 1, Stream 1. 
  4. Height: 70 feet above Hennagara Lake (Water flows down to Hennagara lake from Gavi lake from a height of 70 feet).
  5. Depth: 30 feet
  6. Rejuvenation duration: 40 days
  7. Current Design: Traditionally constructed lake using a stepwell design
Anand plans to transform this into a deep water reservoir so that water flows into all the lakes that fall in Zone 1. Gavi lake flows into Vabasandra lake, which flows into Kyalasanahalli lake, which flows into Bandenallasandra lake, which finally flows into Hennagara Lake.

A stream-wise rejuvenation is meant to ensure planned and effective maintenance. This ensures that all the lakes in the said zone will continue to keep each other alive and thriving.

Condition of the lake (Before Rejuvenation)

  1. For the last 30 years, the lake has been used as a dump yard for industries around the area. Over the years, the lake completely dried out and filled with solid chemical and industrial waste.
  2. A hill adjacent to the lake was being used for stone mining until a few years ago. This 6-acre quarry is now over 60 feet. So this will be turned into a water reservoir and used to complement the lake. This is being done to ensure a steady flow of water in all the lakes of the zone, throughout the year.
Rejuvenation Plan and Process:

  1. The stepwell design of the lake will be utilised as a natural filter. As per the plan, the steps that were initially paved with stone slabs will now be replaced with aquatic plants, which will filter the water when it rises to their level/ They also serve as a natural decoration.
  2. 80% of the total budget is being utilised for employment generation, i.e. on labour.
  3. No new construction material is being used to rejuvenate the lake. All the waste material around the area is being recycled and used for the project. Surrounded by industries, the lake was full of solid waste, which is being segregated and reused for construction work. For instance, concrete waste blocks will be used for the foundation, while waste bricks will be used for the inlets.
  4. To stop soil erosion, Anand plans to plant Wedelia saplings that not only hold the soil firmly but also stifle weed growth, thus making maintenance easy. Also, the yellow Wedelia flowers grow throughout the year, ensuring that the lake serves as a natural hub for pollination by bees and butterflies.
  5. The restoration work is expected to be completed by the end of May. Post that, a plantation drive will begin from the second week of June.
  6. More than 1500 volunteers are expected to join in to plant 1000 saplings of herbs, medicinal plants, fruits, vegetables, flowers and shrubs.
Keep sharing and supporting. Will keep you posted. 

Thank you!
Rs.1,735,795 raised

Goal: Rs.1,700,000

Beneficiary: Anand Malligavad info_outline
80G tax benefits for INR donations

Supporters (1015)

m
mini donated Rs.500

Keep it up.Good luck.

ND
NANDIVADA DASARADHI PHANI donated Rs.500
MS
Mr SUSHIL KUMAR DALAL donated Rs.500
A
Anonymous donated Rs.1,000
A
Anonymous donated Rs.501

All the best Anand

PS
Prateek donated US $50

I wish your campaign great success. I was a resident of Bellandur and have seen that lake almost dying. Please keep up the good work.