Eco Talk: K S Puttaswamy and Dr. K Sangunni Talk About Puttenahalli Lake, Yelahanka

In this episode of Eco Talk, K S Puttaswamy and Dr. K Sangunni talk at length about the history of the Puttenahalli Lake, Yelahanka. 

It might surprise you to know that the Puttenahalli Lake on Doddaballapur Road holds a secret treasure – it is a nesting bowl and paradise for a wide variety of migratory birds, which have not been recorded in nearly 200 years of the history of Bangalore! Until 2006, more than 126 bird species belonging to 50 bird families have been recorded at the site, indicating that the site supports over 30 percent of the bird species recorded in Bangalore. The ‘avifauna’ of this lake also includes some of the endangered and migratory birds from the Northern Himalayas and Siberia. Also, this site is an important nesting and roosting site for a large number of water birds in Bangalore area. 

From 2006, the bird population started declining because of the poor maintainence of the lake. There used to be a sewage treatment plant in the vicinity which now has been defunct for the past five or six years. Now, the surrounding sewage flow has been diverted to the lake, leading to the emanation of a bad stench from the water. Apart from the sewage, garbage has started piling up near the lake.To protect this landmark of extreme environmental importance, a Trust was formed in 2012 by a group of committed and determined nature-loving citizens of Yelahanka, including residents of its immediate neighbourhood, headed by former professor Dr. K.S. Sangunni, from the Indian Institute of Science, to be resolute in their conviction to protect the natural habitat its flora. 

The Trust has documented the history of the lake with all the details of the migratory birds and nature of the Puttenahalli Lake and approached the Forest Department to declare this lake as a Bird Conserve. Hard work and relentless efforts of the Trust and citizens paid off when the Karnataka Government declared the lake as a Bird Sanctuary in June 2015. This is the only bird conservation reserve located near a city. These initiatives have created the desired pace for rejuvenation. In the interest of maintaining water quality, bird diversity, and wildlife conservation, support has been provided jointly by the Center for Sustainable Technology of the Indian Institute of Science, former professor, Dr. Subramanyam from GKVK, and the Karnataka Forest Department.

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