How the lake was saved
For centuries the Puttenahalli Lake in J.P. Nagar had been a pristine water body, playing a vital role in maintaining the fragile ecosystem of our neighbourhood. Like many other lakes in Bangalore, this one too fell prey to indiscriminate exploitation and neglect. Like them it would also have vanished into oblivion but…
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Updated version (Jan 2013) on Slideshare here
The Nurturing of Puttenahalli Lake
PNLIT is the first citizens’ group to assume responsibility for nurturing a lake (Puttenahalli Lake) in the city. PNLIT’s focus is on reviving lakes, using its experience with Puttenahalli Lake in J.P. Nagar, Bangalore, as the model.
With increasing urbanization and consequent demand for land, hundreds of the “Public Open Spaces” water bodies have been sacrificed for “developmental/ infrastructural requirements” of the city. This has led to shortage of Public Open Spaces for people, depletion of ground water, change in city temperature and pollution levels and destruction of bird habitats.
PNLIT is uniquely positioned – Nurturing the lake into a habitat for birds (as it was in the past) rather than a clean-looking water body (as city lakes are generally expected to be). Within a year of its restoration, Puttenahalli Lake has gained recognition as an avian habitat with over 50 species of birds spotted in and around the lake.
PNLIT’s inclusive approach encourages public participation which is the key to sustaining not just Puttenahalli Lake but all Public Open Spaces. The public has a stake in the well being of the space either by understanding its importance in the eco-system of the area or making a financial contribution towards its nurturing or actively using it.
PNLIT receives no funding from the local government. Therefore, currently, the expenses for nurturing the lake are being met primarily from donations/ contributions made by well wishers. For improvements that require large investments, PNLIT approaches the BBMP to allocate funds from the annual budget, or tries to get CSR support.
We estimate that in another 2-3 years (2017), the habitat at Puttenahalli Lake should have stabilised. The lake will then be on “maintain mode” and should not need continuous infusion of funds for its sustenance.