Amidst the India’s high-tech industrial city Bangalore, there lives a techie, Anand Malligavad, who is the savior of the dying lakes of Bangalore.
Once known as the city of lakes, Bangalore now has lost its natural treasure of water bodies. A total of 280 lakes and tanks has declined to only 34 lakes up and running, in the present scenario. Between the chaos, Anand has been working on the projects and has successfully saved three precious lakes. 36-acre Lake Kyalasanahalli, 9-acre Lake Vabasandra and 16-acre Lake Konasandra are now serving the city beautifully. Thanks to Anand Malligavad, who has dedicated his life to lakes.
Starting the project of Lake Kyalasanahalli
The first project he worked on was Kyalasanahalli Lake near Anekal, back in 2017. He used to work as the head of CSR activities at Sansera Foundation. It was the only organisation who funded the project with 1 crore and 17 lakhs. Anand, along with the ex-Vice President of Tata Steel, B Muthuraman, connected with the community. They became a team of almost 400 houses and spread awareness among others.
The plan started by removing 4 lakhs cubic meter of mud from the dry lake. Out of this, they built five islands across the lake surrounding with saplings of fruits and flowers. The islands also set out as an area for nesting to birds.
Proceedings of the Plan
Next, they filled the lake with water. Every monsoon the lake would fill up and then dries in the next nine months since past 30 years. But in first week of September 2017, Bangalore faced a record-breaking rainfall and filled up the lake in one shot. This made Anand to not stop and continue serving the nature.
This was followed by building forest area of 25,000 sq. ft. around the lake. 1,500 volunteers came along towards the mission. In a record time of 1 hour and 45 minutes, the team planted almost 5,000 plants. With this, they created two Japanese Miyawaki forest on the lake.
The water, if, used as a source of irrigation would harm the aquatic life.
Anand had to make sure that the water of rejuvenated lake would not be used in such a way. So, the people collectively also recharged 186 borewells for irrigation purposes.
Challenges and Risks
This project was to be done in 60 days, but with dedication and perseverance, they had successfully done it in only 45 days. But risks and challenges have always been a part of a successful mission. They faced a couple of those too.
Researching and learning about the whole project; pursuing the community to pitch in; reviving the lake in a very short time and with as minimal funds as possible were some of those.
Following Targets and Future Plans
After this, the following target was Lake Vabasandra which was funded by Hewlett-Packard with 75 lakhs. Within two months the lake lived again with 50 ft. deep water by the year 2018. Similarly, Lake Konasandra, one of the most poisonous lakes of the city, was funded by Hikal Ltd. with 81 lakhs. Anand Malligavad revived the lake within three months by 2019, himself.
From a zero-drop water in the lakes and a spot for waste dumping transformed into serene and beautiful lakes serving the society, Anand has made his journey as a water conservationist. So far, he has succeeded in restoring four more lakes. 4-acres Lake Gavi in 2019, 5-acres Lake Manae, 19-acre Lake Nanjapura and 35-acre Lake Hadosiddapur, altogether in 2020.
He aims to rejuvenate 45 lakes by 2025. He has already planned his headways to restore 47-acre Lake Chikkanagamangala by November 2020 only, amidst the pandemic.
Anand suggests to think about your city, country and your planet and bring the changes in any way you can. Your small steps to save Mother Earth counts in.