Request For Relocation Of Regional Science Center From Kukkarahalli Lake Premises

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The ecologically sensitive Kukkarahalli Lake situated at the heart of heritage city, is an existing lung space of Mysore. The legendary lake has a remarkable history and with the enriched flora and fauna in its surroundings it has been a rejoiceful place for poets, naturalists and the general public. The lake has been officially declared as an Important Bird Area (IN197) by Birdlife International. The lake is under the custodianship of University of Mysore (UoM). The responsibility of the lake maintenance and development is handled by the UoM authority.

Mysore citizens wholeheartedly welcome Regional Science Center (RSC) which will guide and inspire the temperament of science among the students and the public alike. The foundation for Regional Science Center was laid in 2015 in the catchment area of the lake. Although, the construction was stopped with the various NGOs and authorities intervention, It is in news again as they plan to restart the construction.  Our request to the authority is to relocate the Science Center from the lake premises to any other appropriate area. Our objection for RSC within the lake catchment area is as follows:

·         The RSC is planned on a higher elevation and is one of the important catchment areas for the lake; with this construction the lake will lose its catchment area.

·         The lake has been a witness for more than 190 species of birds of which 45 species are migratory birds, 86 species of butterflies, 14 species of mammals, 20 species of reptiles and 400 species of flora. The above list includes many of the scheduled species under the Wildlife protection Act 1972. Presence of Schedule II species Golden Jackal is a notable remark.

·         The very area where breeding of Golden Jackal and Eurasian Thick-knee (Burhinus oedicnemus) has been witnessed is where the foundation for RSC is being laid, this is very unfortunate.

·         The lake is a sanctuary for near threatened species of ‘Red Data List  IUCN 3.1’ Spot-billed Pelican (Pelecanus philippensis), Oriental white ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus) and Oriental Darter (Anhinga melanogaster) which breeds along with many other species of birds.

·         According to the Lake Development Authority (LDA), no permanent structure can be constructed within the lake catchment area.

·         As the RSC is expected to have a lot of footfall from the students and the public, the center will require a larger parking space. This also implies an increase in pollution as well as in vehicular traffic. The proposed RSC is right next to the Hunsur Highway, the introduction of RSC will contribute to the road traffic, which in turn adds high vehicular movement on the road.

·         Since we can expect a large crowd to visit the RSC, lot of eateries is expected to come up and result in huge plastic waste. The need for public toilets also needs to be considered. Thus the need for waste and sewage management arises and if not properly managed will end up polluting the lake.

·         The current earmarked area is within the lake boundary and does not offer any opportunity for the Center's future expansion. This might suppress the Center's development.

·         The construction process itself will cause lot of noise and air pollution including debris. The outdoor infrastructure will light up the area beyond sunset, which will hamper the roosting and breeding activities of fauna in the lake premises.

·         The construction of RSC will result in uprooting of innumerable trees, which will deprive the denizens of the lake.