Save Bellanduru-Varthur Wetlands from Encroachments

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Respected Leaders,
"The world has enough for everyone's needs, but not everyone's greed," Mahatma Gandhi .
A poignant quote for today where things around us is racing with breakneck speed, with utter disdain for environment. Amongst all the devastation, focus is on Bengaluru’s water bodies which we seem to care little for. This degradation is very visible in the two period images above of the Bellanduru-Varthuru lake system (including connecting canals). These lakes have a very long history going back to the age of Romans. However, what is even more important is how these lakes with its ecosystem is important for existence today.
Encroachments and acts of land grabbing have caused great damage to the lake system. Acting on these criminal acts is one thing, however saving what is left of it now and protecting it is even more important. As we know, to fix a problem, we need to understand it first. As it goes, encroachments on properties happens when there is no demarcation on the extent of the property and there is no fence to mark it. This is applicable to the lake systems too, for long these lakes and the connecting wetlands were not having any demarcation and this has led to its indiscriminate exploitation. This needs to be stopped immediately. Hence, there is an urgent need to initiate a survey of the lake system and get the demarcation done with a good fence. This will sure help keep out the mindless criminals from encroaching further.
It is heartening to see that there is some serious focus on the lakes itself now. With various tasks being looked at by the authorities to clean up the water to preventing pollution. We also need to one other task of survey and securing the waterways around the lakes.
There is also a very important opportunity while doing this. With all the construction madness around the ORR/Bellandur area, there is sure a lack of critical lung space. This water way can be developed into a green corridor. The Varthuru lake covers about 400 acres and the waterway/wetland area connecting it to Bellanduru is itself the size of the lake as can be seen in the images. Considering even half of this area is eventually recovered, we have about 200 acres for building a lung space with a Rajakaluve in the middle. For comparisons, Cubbon Park current area is just a bit over 100 acres. So, it’s a huge opportunity to green the area and redevelop it as a public lung space, instead of letting it get covered with mindless concrete construction.

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