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Killing our lakes - Hebbal/Nagavara Lake example

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See the image below - it shows the Hebbala and Nagavara lakes. I am told by the locals that the area covered in the red boundary once formed an elaborate and huge lake system. The system first got divided by the Bellary road and the region right to the road subsequently dried out. This region was taken over by the UAS and they used it for rice/paddy crop experiments.

Next the ring road happened. The section of the ring road next to the Hebbal lake was once the lake itself. Then the flyover happened. Land was acquired from UAS to build the flyover. Hebbal flyover is very huge and covers a lot of ground area. They could have chosen to have the lake bellow the flyover once it was complete - but instead it was turned into a land fill. It was a natural low lying region and water used to collect in the region during the rainy seasons helping ground water restoration.

Then BMTC acquired more land from UAS to construct their depot (indicated by the pink boundary) This is the depot where you will find most of BMTC's volvo's.

The region indicated by the yellow boundary was is relatively on a higher level and turned dry (the water flowing into the system was reduced due to the ring road and surrounding roads). In this area, initially few settlements came up, then a huge church came up and now some unknow person is filling up the rest of the region and putting up a stone boundary around it (untill sometime back an unknow education trust had put up their board there).

The part of the lake to the right of Kempapura road is also almost dry and i am sure is being encroached upon.

During rainy seasons, the surrounding regions - kempapura, kodigehalli, bhuvaneshawri nagar face flash floods. Also these lakes fill up to the brim and sometimes over flow. The problem clearly is not the lack of water - we just don't have the capacity to store it - we are killing our lakes!!!




silkboard's picture

Marking the spots on map

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Putting an embeded map in here for ease of pan and zoom on the area.

If I get Rithesh right, he suspects that point A and B marked below could be encorachments on the lake/bed area.

Javascript is required to view this map.

Rithesh's picture

Exactly Pranav

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Especially area A. Until recently, it was huge barren land with boards of random educational trusts and companies. Now all of a sudden, massive leveling of land is taking place and the area is being stone walled. There is also a huge church adjacent to this region.

nl.srinivas's picture

Get info on the ownership of the land

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Hi Ritesh,
  Is it not possible to get the information on the ownership of the land? This should not be very difficult but you may have to face the wrath of land sharks:-)

silkboard's picture

RTIs to check lake area encroachment, but careful

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Pointing this out to BWSSB/BBMP should be our job. but lets do it carefuly

Via RTIs to BBMP/BWSSB, we can take these 4 lakes (Hebbal, Nagavara, Varthur, Belandur) and ask for info that will give us details of "sanctioned" construction activity in adjoining areas.

What should we ask for? I am not knowledgable here - someone from real estate world (mcadambi?) would know what things we need to ask.

To be sure, and careful, We don't need to go into who is doing some construction that may be illegal. We can focus only on pointing out the fact that illegal construction may be happening in these areas.

Need just 2-3 people for doing these RTIs, not more.

Bengloorappa's picture

Hebbal Nagavara Lake area Photo timeline 2000-2007

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 I took some time to make a photo timeline of the lake bed area encroachments, courtesy - Big Brother.

Nov 13 2000

Jan 21 2004
Jan 21 2004

Jan 23 2005

Dec 08 2005

Dec 29 2006

May 17 2007

Its all here for us to see.


[Uploaded images to Flickr since some members had difficulty seeing the images. Could not salvage the one for 21st Jan 2004 - Moderator]

Ravi_D's picture

These pics are worth >1000 words each!

156 users have liked.

@Bangaloorappa: Great work. How did you do that? Should be very helpful in many other cases.



Rithesh's picture

Amazing work Bangaloorappa - shocking pictures!!!

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These are really shocking and sad!! Clearly details the decreasing greencover/lake area in the region. The first picture was take in 2000 - in less than 9 years the complete geography has been changed. Great work Bengaloorappa.

RTIs could be a bit tricky. We can request BDA/BBMP/BWSSB to look into his. Media attension is necessary.

muthu's picture

Area B is where the Manyata

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Area B is where the Manyata Embassy Business Park is located. Its a huge campus ( 2km by 1km may be). During heavy rains a couple of years back, the Park looked like a lake and this proves that this area was part of the lake system.
muthu's picture

DoddaBommasandra Lake

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There is another lake near Vidyaranyapura called Doddabommasandra lake. Legend has it that it was linked to Hebbal lake and this would have been an expansive lakesystem spanning over 10kms.

(To view doddabommasandra lake, move one click to the left and one click to the top on the second map and voila there is the empty lake.)

During my young days, 20 years back, this lake was full and as developments took place around the area, the lake dried up.

As part of the lake renovation project, this lake was cleaned up and I am sure crores were spent.

the renovation seems to have ensured that no water enters the lake :( no matter how heavy the rains are. Before the renovation there used to be some water atleast but not to the level of 20 years back.

Is there any way we can find out why water is not entering this lake? Any pointers? I can walk around the lake and check.


silkboard's picture

cool pictures - journalists, please take note!

164 users have liked.

How green in 2000. And then appears the flyover. Next the BMTC depot. Perhaps the two are legal constructions (public purpose?). And then some earthwork just left of Nagavara lake. Then more and more, including the church.

Looking at the pattern, area between BMTC depot and church looks ripe for next round of earthwork :)

Hope some newspapers pick this up. Journalist friends of ours, please take note!

Bengloorappa's picture

Google earth Historical imagery

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We should all thank Google earth for its historical imagery feature. Just install the latest version and everyone can see all facts laid bare, no RTIs required for a change.

I am going to do this for all lakes as and when I find time, it would be great if we can get some of our friends in the mainstream media to pick this story up as these images potentially can have a lot of impact in proving all that we are talking about recently.


sanjayv's picture

amazing images from google earth

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That was just enlightening, to be able to see the evolution of a place like that and see the encroachment and destruction of the lake system.  In fact, I went through and captured an even higher level view from 2000, 2004 and 2008.

I can quite clearly make out a ring of lakes  as well as interconnecting valleys or flood plains around B'lore.It shows up as a green belt.  Various lakes around Bangalore, as is well known I think, are clearly connected to each other.  We have a lake system and not individual lakes.  Please see images from y2000, 2004 and 2008. I have tried to mark the ring with a red loop.

These lakes are wetlands that are also critical ground water recharge points - an alternate means of rain water harvesting, if you will.

There must definitely be a study cataloging all the past lakes in Bangalore and how the system of lakes are interconnected etc. Is anybody aware of such a study?

I also wonder if ISRO has satellite images that go fruther back that can clearly decipher the lake network system better.  As Pranav pointed out, the Bellandur-varthur lake link is clearly being severed by new ground leveling and construction. comment guidelines

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