In 1937, Bengaluru had 937 lakes. At present, there are less than 80 lakes. Out of which only 34 are live lakes. Choked with weeds and sewage, the Madiwala’s water slightly resembles green paint. But, that’s just about to change.
The Madiwala lake’s history dates back to almost 300 years and it is one of the biggest lakes in Bengaluru. Built by the Cholas, the lake is said to have been built overnight. Home to a plethora of migratory birds, the lake comes under the administration of Karnataka State Forest Department, which carries out the routine maintenance of this lake.
Disturbed by its current state, collective efforts are being made by United Way Bengaluru and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike to bring the lake back to life.
What Turned Madiwala ToxicMadiwala receives wastewater through three inlets - one near the 4 million litres per day (MLD) Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), the second at the lake's southwestern side and the third at the southern side.
Owing to chemical waste, human waste, and sewage from the neighboring slums, the lake is hardly left with any aquatic life.
Photo Credit: The Hindu
The callous neglect of the authorities further led to Madiwala’s slow death.
Big Plans for This 300-Year-Old LakeIf everything goes as planned by the government, the Madiwala park will be a biodiversity hotspot with a healthy water body next to it in the next three years. What’s more? An herbal garden with native tree species, walkways and an interpretation centre will be created.
Moreover, the lake revival project has will also help increase the water-holding capacity of the lake and helping other water bodies in the vicinity. The project is already in its full gear now.
The lake has been desilted. However, the marshes and the islands also require desilting and restoration as the lake water is devoid of any aquatic vegetation.
Apart from this, major other steps such as dewatering, deweeding, waste water improvement, and pollution prevention measures will also be taken. To ensure water is drained safely, appropriate protection measures will be in place.
Photo Credit: Nagarjun Kandukuru