Lakes have always been an integral part of Bangalore’s identity. But in the past decade, they have witnessed widespread exploitation and pollution, which has largely contributed to their dwindling numbers. Chunchaghatta Lake has been one such contaminated lake that has found its water quality diminishing.
The lake stretches to approximately 22 acres within the urban limits of Bangalore and is included under the Konankunte ward. Since close to a year, the residents of the area have been consistently involved in the clean-up of the lake. Bharathi Jayprakash and Indira Vivek are two of the main members of the group engaged in this activity. RJ Padma Priya interviews the two green activists in this special show to know more about their inspiring work.
The clean-up team was initially inspired by the spot-fixes achieved by the city-based collective, The Ugly Indian. Once every fifteen days, these members clear the lake of accumulated garbage; de-weeding the lake requires strenuous efforts. The accumulated waste can be found up to a depth of two feet, composed of materials like non-bio degradable plastic bottles, sanitary napkins, etc. Needless to say, the entire process has been extremely challenging.
Most of this dumped garbage comes from the people living around the lake. The residents, who mostly belong to low-income groups, do not have a judicious waste-disposal method. Neither have they been provided with regular waste collection facilities by the BBMP garbage trucks. So, in the initial stages of the clean-up project, a lot of groundwork had to be done in order to promote awareness about waste disposal itself. It was a great challenge to sensitise the people about waste management.
The team eventually succeeded in involving more people from the community in the clean-up task. They encouraged children to engage in the work and also conducted art competitions for them. They also recruited help from the NGO, Youth for Parivarthan. In order to get better guidance in the process, they also plan to approach the BBMP. They have a lot of plans to develop the lake further. They plan to set up a compost treatment plant and a jogging track.
The team has a lot of plans to improve the state of the lake further. They plan to set up a compost treatment plant and a jogging track at the site. “We are apolitical in our approach,” they are clear. Their only motive is to keep their surroundings clean and hygienic.
Written by Vybhavi Adiga.