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Lakes: victims of urbanization in the city

The Bangalore' people of the city under the unique campaign Wake the Lake witnessed the “Lake – a – Thon” which was graced upon by the leading corporate, celebrities, environmentalists and the neighborhood in Kaikondanhalli lake Sarjapur road. The “Wake the Lake” is campaign initiated by United Way Bengaluru (UWBe), an affiliate of United Way Worldwide to protect the withering lakes in the city. The campaign, “Wake the Lake” is aimed at restoration and rejuvenation of the dying lakes which have been the victims of urbanization.
The objective is to make lakes people-friendly, inculcate a sense of community ownership of lakes among the people residing in proximity and prevent lakes from further degradation. In this campaign United Way Bengaluru is supported by multiple stakeholders including the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), NGOs, Corporate Houses, Educational Institutes, Resident Welfare Associations, Community Leaders and General Public.
A corporate leader, Mr. Vivek Nagarkatti, Chairman of United Way Bengaluru & Managing Director - SR Lova commented “ Due to rapid Industrialization in the city, the aftermath has been catastrophic to environment, scientific data suggests that in days to come there will not be enough drinking water to cater the citizens of Bangalore. It is an issue that needs urgent attention and the underground water table ought to be replenished. We are grateful to all the corporates who have been supporting us monetarily as well as sparing their time for us.

A responsible Volunteer, Jai Xavier Prabhu David, Director, Business Hubs who has been a staunch supporter of the campaign was of an opinion that “Over the years a lot of issues have been addressed, perhaps according to me lakes dint get its due recognition. With the support from the BBMP and general public UWBe plans to maintain the lakes all through the year”
UWBe has been working with the community living around the lake, which includes companies and people and community leaders living in the particular area. This approach was welcomed by BBMP who were scouting for a reliable partner like United Way Bengaluru to assist them in the lake restoration project. Currently United Way Bengaluru is planning to support restoration of 11 lakes in the city. Average cost of maintaining a lake is about 15 – 18 lakhs per annum. UWBe is hoping to raise funds from the companies in Bangalore for the maintenance work, also engage employees on a regular basis in lake cleaning, tree plantation etc. to bring down the cost.
BBMP has undertaken the first part of the lake rejuvenation i.e. removing encroachments, fencing the lakes, diverting sewage water, installing sewage treatment plants, planting trees and creating the walk path. United Way Bengaluru along with the community will ensure the work done by BBMP is sustained, and lakes are well maintained round the year, that would include putting security guards, maintaining the flora around the lake, ensuring no one is dumping debris, diverting sewerage etc.
With a vision to be a leader in intelligent and accountable philanthropy and to make an impact on the community, UWB has taken this initiative to bring the people of the city together and to create awareness about the situation. The campaign would make the general public sensitive to look into the community needs, not being cynical about the Government but work together to bring about change.

by S. C.
04 august 2011, World News > Asia

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