Located in the Bommanahalli zone, the Mangammana Palya lake is barely 500 metre from the Bengaluru-Hosur highway. After the local residents mounted their demand to restore the lake, in 2017-18, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) restored the eight-acre lake.
Surrounded by residential outlets, now, a park built around the lake serves as a walking spot for the nearby residents.
A senior BBMP official said, “After years of neglect, the lake had huge deposits of silt. We had to desilt the entire lake and create sewage diversion channels so that untreated sewage does not enter the lake directly. There are industries around as well so a special care was taken to avoid industrial waste entering the lake.”
The official added, “A lake bund was built and a path around the lake was built. Former Deputy Conservator of Forest with the BBMP Jagannath Rao, who was heading the BBMP lake’s team, was involved in the restoration and he did a splendid job.”
Rakesh Kumar, a resident who lives in the vicinity of the lake said, “The lake has never been in the glare of the media — neither when its condition was appalling nor when it was restored. Before it was restored, the lake witnessed fish kills and froth due to raw sewage entering the lake. After the nearby residents cajoled the authorities, the lake was restored. However, the lake is not maintained properly.”
Another resident of the area, Bhavana M, said, “I have been staying near the lake since 2010. I know that the status of the lake was pathetic and the work related to the restoration was carried out in bits and pieces. Even after the lake was thrown open to the public, fencing around the lake was not completed and there was no gatekeeper.”
She added, “The lake is in a good condition now but barring the people who stay here, a lot of people do not know about the lake.”
Bhavana demanded the BBMP to put up some seats for senior citizens around the lake and to clean the waterbody.
“Even the walking trail is not cleaned regularly and plants have grown in the lake. I think these should be taken care of by the BBMP,” she added.
While a portion of the lake was utilised to build a public road a few years back, in 2018, a drinking water plant was built on the buffer zone of the lake.
Notably, last week, citizen collectives at a Brand Bengaluru meeting told the BBMP that though the lakes are rejuvenated by spending crores of rupees, the condition of the water bodies slips back to square one in a few years.