In this episode, Eshwarappa talks about Sarakki Lake in Bangalore.
Sarakki Lake is situated in JP Nagar 7th Phase, and provides water to three villages – Jaragnalli, Sarakki, and Puttanhalli – located around the area. The lake is spread across 85 acres and in the past, was the lifeline for the people living in the vicinity.
Eshwarappa, along with his friends, decided to work on rejuvenating the lakes across the city of Bengaluru, and the group selected Sarakki Lake as the first project. Their first visit to the lake and interaction with the surrounding communities made them realize that the water was in a very bad state as BBMP workers had been dumping waste into it. Earlier, it used to be a very good spot for fishing and for many species of birds to come to and thrive at.
For two years, the team worked on this project and contacted many organisations, but no one came forward to support. After a long, lonely battle, Eshwarappa decided to go to court, following which the Alternative Law Forum (ALF) team came forward to support the team. Eshwarappa presented all the documents needed for the case. After the final verdict, no proper action was taken and in fact, the team was threatened. So, they forwarded the case to BBMP, but they refused to take corrective action citing insufficient funds. The team then wrote a letter to the Indian Government about the situation of the lake; the government provided them with the requisite amount of money and the work started immediately.
Before the rejuvenation process began, the lake had dried up near completely. As part of the process, treatment plants will be initiated near the lake. In Bangalore, drainage pipes are not connected well to each other and most of them are linked to lakes. “All water bodies should be taken care of in a holistic manner. Instead of thinking them as ‘mine’, we have to think about them as ‘ours’. Biodiversity must be supported and proper care must become the norm,” says Eshwarappa. “We have to live with nature and not against nature.”
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