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This Eco-Warrior Turned a Filthy 10-Acre Lake into a 30-Ft Deep Water Reservoir!

"Nestled amid small hills and guarded by tall eucalyptus trees, this place has today transformed into a mini Ooty of sorts!", says Bengaluru's 'Lake Ambassador'. #WaterActionDecade #LakeReviversCollective

What started as a passionate drive has turned indeed turned into a lake revolution, spearheaded by Anand Malligavad–the man with an iron will.

After successfully rejuvenating the Kyalasanahalli Lake–a 35-acre water body near Anekal–in just 45 days, the lake ambassador has been travelling across and beyond the city in pursuit of dying lakes, all to give them another shot at life!

“The Kyalasanahalli Lake was the trigger that allowed me to see what I truly wanted to do. So, I reached out to my seniors to discuss my resignation so that I can work on this full-time. I was lucky to see that they were supportive, and as a result, I was able to begin work on the next project, the Vabasandra Lake,” he said.

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Unlike other lakes, Vabasandra is not situated on a plane surface, but an elevated one.

Anand thus decided to make the best use of this natural distinction by reviving the lake, and transforming it into a deep water reservoir!

Equipped with funding of almost Rs 80 lakh from Hewlett-Packard (HP), the work began on April 5, 2018, and in a matter of just two months, the 10-acre area was transformed.

It was now a 30-ft deep water reservoir that had the potential to keep the other lakes on the stream alive with a healthy flow of water.

“The primary reason behind making this into a reservoir was its geographical position. Being an upper stream, restoring this lake ensured that the water from Vabasandra could travel to other lakes; Kyalasanahalli being one of them. This meant that these lakes would then be filled for the entire year!” he added.

Anand and a team of volunteers laboured for 60 days and completed the restoration of the lake on June 5, 2018.

Not an easy dive

Even after gaining prior experience, this journey was not easy for the lake conservationist.

“Every lake has its unique character and set of challenges, and with this one, it was the restriction in cleaning the water. I was stuck in a technical dilemma,” he shared.

The September rains that filled up the Kyalasanahalli Lake to the brim did the same for Vabasandra. However, the existing mud and muck made it worse.

Also Read: Bengaluru Techie Single-handedly Revives Lake in 45 Days, Plans to Save 45 More by 2025!

“Draining out the water to clean the lake was not an option, because we were unsure if we would experience similar showers that year. So, we had to devise a way to clean the lake of its filth, without draining out the water. We were also scared that the draining process could harm the thriving aquatic life deep inside” Anand explained.

After brainstorming, he came up with a way to solve the problem.

“We observed that 80% of the lake was full of water, and almost 4 acres of it was close to being dry. We chose to dig out and clean 2 acres of land out of that and channeled filtered water into it, along with the aquatic life. This was done, slowly in parts, until the entire lake was clean again,” he said.

Anand is understandably proud of cleaning the entire lake without having to discharge a single drop of water!

“I had anticipated the situation correctly. Since 2018 not a single drop of water has been added to the lakes due to the lack of rain. I am glad we took the risk and went with our instincts,” he recalled.

Beautification and preservation

Once the cleaning process was complete, the techie began to build a barrier around the lake area. Together with citizen support, he encompassed 2.5 km around the lake, increasing the depth from 8 to 30 feet–all stone-pitched to ensure that there was no soil erosion.

This was then followed by the installation of an island on the lake with thousands of native medicinal plants, fruits and flowers planted, to attract migratory birds.

Much like the previous project, this lake also had its own Japanese Miyawaki forest installed with 5600 saplings planted with the help of Save Trees Environmental Trust.

In addition, 1000 saplings, of which 600 were fruits of 20 varieties, were planted all around the line of the lake. Without the help of any government authority, the team even managed to free 2 to 2.5 acres of encroached land and restore it into the lake premises.

Anand adds that in all his designs, the central focus is always on long-term sustainability and this was true in this case as well.

“In the future, there is a possibility of residential complexes being built in this area. So to ensure that the flora and fauna remain unharmed and there is no garbage dump created, we designed and executed a natural biological sewage plant in the lake premises,” said Anand.

While his larger dream to restore 45 lakes by 2025 is in progress, he takes time to recall and cherish each journey.

“Today, with the bounty of nature it is a sight to behold. Nestled amid small hills and guarded by tall eucalyptus trees, this place has transformed into a mini Ooty of sorts!” he concludes.

Join Anand and The Better India as part of the Lake Revivers Collective and donate now to help us breathe life back into India’s lakes.

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(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)

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