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One more lake make-over project announced

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One more lake makeover plan has been announced and this time it is BBMP. 900 crores will be spent on makeover of 187 lakes and the project is called ‘Namma Bangalore Nisarga’.

BBMP claims that of the 187 lakes, 25 have already been developed. I wonder which are these lakes.

I have to admit i have lost track of how many lake development/rejuvenation/makeover plans have be announced and also the agencies handling them.

I am also confused when they say "develop the lake" - does it mean only fencing them? Few months back Hebbal lake was taken up for development. Apart from the fencing, no other work has happened there. The water hyacinth covers more than 40% of the surface area. A huge drain enter the lake towards the eastern end and towards this end it is fully covered by hyacinth. About one had half years back, the whole lake was drained and de-silted. But all that seams to have gone vain.

Same is the case with Nagavara Lake - which is divided into parts. One part was leased out to a private contractor (Lumbini Gardens) and is decently maintained. The other half, is completely (100%) covered with water hyacinth and also drainage flows right into it. There is a very large water treatment plant very next to it - but doesnt seam to be operational and the plant is instead being used to produce huge water pipes (possibly for Cauvery 4th Stage project).

Lake development should include -
- Clearing of water hyacinth
- Clearing of all water inlets
- Treatment of all sewage water entering the lake
- Prevention of lake bed and catchment area encroachments
- Development of the lake ecosystem

We should definitely track where this 900 crores is going and how it is being spent. Anyone game for an RTI project?

Link to the newspaper article.


RKCHARI's picture

Late response

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Sorry Rithesh, i had not seen your write up earlier. You can count me in on your RTI Project. Just let me know what you would like done.




sanjayv's picture

Yes, I am in

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Let's plan out what to file and go ahead.  We should also rope in PSA sir - he is interested in these lake issues as well. 

RKCHARI's picture

When & Where?

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Hi Sanjay,

Where do you stay Sanjay? When & where can we meet to discuss next steps?

I live in Whitefield & PSA in Indiranagar. I have no problem commuting to any place as long as I get enough time and sufficient notice to rework my schedule, to reach the place.

PSA Garu, are you up to throwing your hat into this venture?




Rithesh's picture

Will file the RTI

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I have prepared an draft RTI app, to get the details of the lakes that are being developed, the money being spent on each lake and the type of development work they plan to take up in each of these lakes.

I will file this in a couple of days. If you guys have anything else to ask, let me know, i could add into the query or file a separate one.

The usually dont respond to the query before 30 days. Will have to wait till then.
s_yajaman's picture

RTI questions from my side

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Some questions from my side.

a. Please provide me with the list of 187 lakes identified for this project.  What is the budget for each lake? 

b. Please provide me with the list of 25 lakes already identified as improved. 

c. Regarding Hebbal Lake

     Q1. Which authority was responsible for this project?  LDA or BBMP or BDA or any other?  Please provide the name.

     Q2. How much money was spent on this project?

     Q3. Who was the contractor responsible for executing this project?

     Q4. What was the scope of the project?

     Q5.  Is water hyacinth removal part of the scope of the project?

     Q6.  Who was responsible for monitoring this project?

     Q7.  How many visits were to have been made by the concerned official to monitor this project?

     Q8. Please provide the dates on which the official visited the lake to monitor the project?

     Q9.  Has the payment already been made for this project?

     Q10. What checks were made by the concerned official before releasing the payment?  (can word this better).




Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Rithesh's picture

Thanks Srivathsa

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I will ask the 3rd set of questions for all the 25 lakes that have been "developed".
sanjayv's picture

Additional RTI questions

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I would like to add the following Ritesh

(1) Copy of any consultancy report / project reports which describes the plan of this project

(2) Where is this 900 crores allocated from - i.e., source of this money.  BBMP tax/ ad revenue, state govt grant etc.

(3)How is BBMP collaborating with BWSSB / LDA etc. to prevent untreated sewage inflow into the lake. Who are the experts in BBMP on water / watershed management - qualifications, expertise etc.

Please let me know if you would like me to file any RTIs among the list  being collated.


sanjayv's picture


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 Dear Chari sir,

  I live in the whitefiled area also.  May I suggest that in typical praja fashion we discuss and finalize the plan for RTI here and meet in person only if need be?  Weekeday meetings are difficult for me.

RKCHARI's picture

No Issue

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Dear Sanjay,

No issues for me to follow Praja procedures. I think most of the comments above have covered everything that one needs to know. Maybe at best a question or two about long term maintenace aspect of this Rs.900 crore budget may be asked. Does the 900 crores include maintenance or is it being spent one time for merely immediate releif?

Best of luck with your efforts. Let me know if there is anything else you require from my side.

BTW, I believe Dr. Ashwin Mahesh and Mr. Ramesh Sriram both of ABIDe are personally pursuing rejuvenation 39 lakes in the Mahadevpura constituency. Any point liaising with them on this RTI? They may already have the answers to several of these queries.



sandeepckeerthi's picture

Private participation in lake development and rejuvenation

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I am curious about the reason for the opposition to private participation in lake development and rejuvenation.

The Nagavara lake seems to be among the best maintained of the lakes in Bengaluru and it happens to be maintained by a private contractor. I believe a similar project for the Hebbal lake was shot down due to opposition from environment protection groups. The Agara lake being another that is facing similar opposition. Even if there is going to be some business acitivity like a floating restaurant, boat rides or fees for using the park and the lake, it seems alright considering the great shape the lakes will be in.

I was also wondering if it will be worthwhile to add a clause about maintaining the drainage systems in the immediate 2-3 KM radius of the various lakes that will have privatized maintenance.  This will help the neighbourhoods prevent any flooding and at the same time help in water inflow into the lakes.

tsubba's picture


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can you also inquire about the inlets to these lakes?

is their any sort of treatment to control the amount bod?

also many of the lakes are naturally connected. one spills into another. are these links being strenghtened also?

many of these links are lost. are there any plans to replace these lost links or find substitutes for them?

(lakes are not stand alone entities)

Rithesh's picture

List of questions

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RTI question set - 1

1. List of 187 lakes identified for development as part of the "Namma Bangalore Nisarga".
2. For each lake provide the following information
-The implementing authority (BDA, BBMP, LDA)
-Project report
-Money allocated
-Complete details on what aspects the money will be spent on (desilting, fencing, etc.)
-Bill of quantities
-Contractor (Name and address)
-Monitoring authority (Name and address)
-Supervising official (Name, designation and address)

RTI question set - 2

1. List of the lakes that have already been developed under the "Namma Bangalore Nisarga".
2. For each lake provide the following information
-The implementing authority (BDA, BBMP, LDA)
-Project report
-Money allocated
-Break up on how the money was spent (desilting, fencing, garden, etc.)
-"Bill of quantities" details of the project
-Monitoring authority (Name and address)
-Supervising official (Name, designation and address)
-Details of the visits made by the supervising official (dates)
-All records from the "Measurement Book" associated with the project

@Srivatha - the "Measurement Book" will record all details on the completion of the project - this along with the "Bill of quantities" query will help answer Q10 in you queries.

@Sanjayv and @TS - lets file a separate query on the inlet details and the water treatment facilities for these lakes. Sanjayv would be great if you could take this up and file it. Chari sir, what would be the right questions to ask?

Karnataka RTI rules states that each application should have less than 150 words!!
RKCHARI's picture

Right Question to Ask

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Hi Sanjay,

For inlet details I suppose something like this will cover most of our concerns:

1. Do all SW drains lead to one lake or the other to discharge their water flow?

2. Does such SW going through open drains get treated before getting discharged into lakes?

3. Do lakes also receive liquid household waste including black and grey water and if so are these subject to treatment prior to they being discharged into lakes?

4. What treatment system, if any, exists for Raja Kaluve water disgorging into lakes?

5. Is it a fact that sewage water is often let into open drains and if so what steps have been taken to prevent / correct such 'leakages' ?

Something on the above lines ought to cover most of the concerns



Srivatsava's picture

Believable numbers...

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My first impression of these numbers is that they are believable. 'Lake development' in BBMP vocab would mean fencing the lake, cleaning the banks of the lake, landscaping the surroundings, providing a walking track alongside and other such activities which will provide a feeling of a 'park' around the lake. I am sure that BBMP have not yet 'touched' the waters of the lake, nor do I expect them to do in future.

The interesting part of the article to me is that already 60 lakes have been developed and only 123 more will be taken up by the BBMP and 4 lakes do not fall into BBMP judisdiction. 25 of these 60 lakes have been developed by BBMP, 21 in progress by BBMP, 12 completed by BDA and two by LDA.

Hence, you may want to rework the set-2 to include those WIP lakes or create a set 3 specifically for the WIP lakes and get their due dates etc.

-Srivatsava V

Srivatsava's picture

Previously on Praja

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RaviD, in this post, had about two months back quoted this DH article ( 33 lakes to get new lease of life) about the 21 lakes and 12 lakes to be taken up for development by BBMP and BDA respectively.

Some excepts from the DH report:

.... BDA will take up rejuvenation work on 12 lakes at a cost of Rs 104 crore, the BBMP will take up development of the remaining 21 lakes, at an estimated cost of Rs 190 crore.......Bangalore South MP Ananth Kumar said, the rejuvenation programme is expected to be completed within 12 to 18 months. The project includes - clearing encroachments, setting up sewerage treatment plans, besides strengthening the lake amount of Rs 100 crore has been earmarked in the BBMP budget for the rejuvenation programme.....A sewerage treatment plan will be set up in each lake at an approximate cost of Rs 2 crore.......Urban Development department had been directed to submit a report on the status of the 127 lakes that had been recommended for rejuvenation by the Lakshman Rao Committee in 1988.......

the latest media report is about these 127 lakes, 123 of which are in BBMP limits...

Based on this, I have feeling that you have a set of questions on the project as a whole and just of individual lakes. We should be able to understand the scope of the project, the funding structure, expected timelines etc.

-Srivatsava V

sanjayv's picture

second RTI

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 okay, I will file the second RTI.  I am slightly rewording and re-arranging the questions from Chari sir as follows. Since sewage is the preserve of the BWSSB, I am a little afraid of the answer that may come.  Nevertheless, I think we must ask these questions.


1. Do all SW drains lead to one lake or the other to discharge their water flow? Will this water be treated before being let into the lake.

2. Do lakes also receive liquid household waste including black and grey water and if so are these subject to treatment prior to they being discharged into lakes?

3. Will this project ensure separation of storm water from sewage water?

4. Is it a fact that sewage water is often let into open drains and if so what steps have been / will be taken to prevent / correct such 'leakages' ?

5. Are there plans to restore, improve inter lake linkages?

-Please suggest changes, additions if any.


RKCHARI's picture

RTI Questions

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Hi Sanjay,

All your RTI Questions are just fine. Just go ahead and file it. If we get satisfactory answers to even 60% of the questions we should be lucky.

My question to Praja-ites would be after we receive the answers to these questions, what do we do? Does Praja only end up being an outlet for our pent up feelings or can we actually ensure some action by the authorities?

Count me in if you need numbers to take a delegation to meet whomsoever we are required to meet, if that is the way forward.

Best wishes


sanjayv's picture

will file

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 Okay, I will file this.

@RKC - one method of Praja's effectivenes is monitoring projects through RTI.

However, the other step is to actually go and interact with the various agencies to provide input and suggestions.  This whole water, lake issue is all closely interlinked and the other thing I realized as my personal research grows in breadth and depth is that there are a LOT of groups and individuals all trying to impact this area in their own way with varying levels of success.

So, the thing I am personally trying to figure out is how do we as Praja make an impact here?  We can form a delegation and go and talk and so on and so forth, but how will we scheive something that other groups have also been trying for a long time?

I do not have a clear answer right now, unfortunately.



sanjayv's picture

An insight into BBMP's thinking on lakes

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 This presentation may give some insight into BBMPs thinking on lakes.  Stumbled upon it during my water research.   This may have some of the answers we are seeking through the RTIs.

Looking forward to comments from Prajas.  I need some time to digest this presentation before posting anything.

RKCHARI's picture


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As mentioned elsewhere, please count me in as a member of the team going to meet the good Professor next Saturday.



sanjayv's picture

BBMP lake website

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A skeletal website is up for lakes by the BBMP.  Nothing worked except the front page. 

Something to watch as info gets added.

------------------ addition --------

Website was not working when I tried last.  Seems to work now. There is some information and hopefully, this forms the elements of a data base.  Now the question is... I think a website such as this and other solid, published documentation should form the basis of a public record clearly identifying the lake, its capacity, inflow, outflow, etc.  It is important also to not only identify the lakes extent and encroachments, but also to identify and notify a buffer zone and wtaer drainage scheme.  Something like that needs a clearly debated and declared policy.

A start.  Now how can this website be made useful?

sanjayv's picture

Key observations from BBMP presentation

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 1. There are "lake series" drawings showing various lakes and connections.  No source specified and the drawings appears hand drawn.

2. Apparently, the ministry of urban development has constituted a committee to plan and restore Bangalore lakes?!

3. GOI will fund 35% of cost through JNNURM?!

List of Lakes alreadt restored in Bangalore

  • BBMP

Sankey, Tavarakere,  Ulsoor, Yadiyur, Kempambudhi, Byrasandra

  • INEP (no idea what it means - Privatization?)

Hebbal, Madivala, Dodabommasandra

  • LDA

Vengaihnakere, Jaraganahalli-Sarakki, Nagavara

  • Forest Department

Hennur, Vasanthapura, Kengeri, Challakere, Narsipura I & II, Akshaya Nagar,  Doddakalasandra, Deepanjali Nagar, Malagai,  Halegarbarahalli

  • BDA

Agaram, Benniganahalli, Lalbagh


17 Lakes that have been identified with DPR prepared (at the time of report writing)

Puttenahalli, Allasandra, Yelahanka, Kalakere, Attur, Koudenahalli, Chinnapanahalli, Kaikondanahalli, Ambilipura, Uttarahalli, Puttenahalli (again?), Dorekere, Dasarahalli, Nayandanahalli, Malgala, Deepanjali

-Encroachment, costs, etc are listed.

What they Plan to do...

  • Construction of diversion channel/UGD to carry dry weather flow outside the lake.
  • Install Mini STP at inlets to treat waste water
  • Construct engineering wetland to treat waste water before letting into lake (not sure what this means)
  • Bio-Remediation during Operation and Maintanence (how is bio-remediation going to treat all the contamination?)

Other improvements

  • Chain link fence,
  • Desilting (this is tricky... that silt will be contaminated)
  • Strenghten main bund, jogging path with solar lighting for the path
  • Construct islands for nesting birds??
  • Separate idol immersion tank
  • Boat jetty for recreation
  • Children's park
  • Meditation/Yoga center inside water body!
  • Tree Plantation
  • Shelters, toilets, gazebos

Looks interesting.  Naturally, all this will depend on the science, technology and quality of work undertaken.

My biggest disappointment is with the fact that

  1. There is no mention of SWDs leading to these local lakes.  That would be a very good way to do ground water recharge
  2. Instead of preventing storm water from coming to these lakes and separating SWD and sewage, the idea seems to be to treat the mixed waste stream that flows in.  Why?
  3. Most of these lakes are heavily polluted, probably with stuff more than simple sewage.  The silt that will be removed will be full of contaminants.  There is no clarity on where these pollutants will go, how they will be disposed etc.



Naveen's picture

BBMP Lakes Website - Good Start

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I think the BBMP Lakes Website is a pretty good beginning. I tried out the site & links worked quite well. The search feature worked quite perfectly. There was data on many lakes, but information is scanty - hopefully, they populate it better in the future.

idontspam's picture


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 INEP (no idea what it means - Privatization?)

Indo Norwegian Environmental Project

But why have they split it up like this between various authorities, between BBMP, BDA, LDA.. none of these people will sit across the table for a coherent strategy.

parisarapremi's picture

Links not working

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      Both the pdf link and the bbmp lakes links are not working as of today morning. Did the nalms folks pull the pdf out of the website ? 



sanjayv's picture


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 No idea about the link, but I have a downloaded copy that I can email you. Please send me your email id as a private message on this site, if interested.

Lakes website is working at the time of this writing.

Naveen's picture

BBMP Lake Restoration

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sanjayv :

There is no mention of SWDs leading to these local lakes. That would be a very good way to do ground water recharge

Without SWDs, there is no way to supply rain water & charge the lakes. Though it has not been mentioned in the presentation, it may have been budgeted elsewhere & may be pursued separately (restoration of raja kaluvas away from lakes may not form part of this effort - the various maps depict some of these raja kaluvas between lakes in various lake systems).

Instead of preventing storm water from coming to these lakes and separating SWD and sewage, the idea seems to be to treat the mixed waste stream that flows in. Why?

I think what they plan is to build STPs to treat water coming in through SWDs as there is widespread contamination despite precautions - most of the raja kaluvas are left open. Sewage must be prevented to flow into lakes, but due to slums & encroachments, defecation in SWDs may be hard to stop.

sanjayv's picture

@ Naveen reg lake restoration

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 Mention of SWDs:  I think it is important to look at the storm water network to be sure that it indeed leads to the lakes in a systematic fashion keeping capacities, catchment area, interconnections etc in mind.  What I mean is some proper, number based engineering. Really important to prevent flooding.  In the part of town I live in, many storm water drains lead to nowhere in particular or are blocked with garbage and construction material. It is not just the Raja Kaluves that are important, but rather every single drain down to the piddling little drain outside your house and mine.

STPs: Agree with your point about routine contamination.  My problem is this. Once STPs are built, people will assume that the problems are solved.  However, when there is actual storm water inflow during rains, these STPs will get overwhelmed and all the storm water mixed with sewage will get pushed into the lakes on such days. I will argue that in areas outside the core city, sewage from some buildings also find their way into the Raja Kaluves.  No way that a bunch of slums and people urinating in drains can account for the contamination we see. 

The long term solution is (a) Provision of sewage connections in all areas served by BWSSB (b) Systematic inspection of buildings and elimination of illegal connection of sewage to SWDs. (c)Assistance to folks in slums and economically disadvantaged areas to get clean water and basic sanitary/sewage facilities (d) Education, education, education - not an easy task,  but with regular conversations, awareness campaigns etc, people will stop doing a lot of these illegal things.  Ultimately, we are hurting ourselves.


Naveen's picture


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when there is actual storm water inflow during rains, these STPs will get overwhelmed

I dont think this will happen. When there is heavy rain, water can possibly be led directly into the lake, bypassing the STP. Initially, during rains, some dirty water is sure to flow, but this can be stored for cleaning at the STP. When water purity improves, it can be led directly to the lake/s.

We could confirm this during the meet with Prof.Ramachandra.

sanjayv's picture

Closing SWD STP comment

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 Okay, let us have a discussion at IISc.  While an STP will be needed as an intermediate step, my push will always be for cutting sewage off at the source.  If the rest of the world can do it, so can we.  These STPs, their running and maintanence just remain a recurring expenditure in the city budget.  The storm water drains will continue to be full of sewage that remains a health hazard.

Naveen's picture

STPs Unavoidable now

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These STPs, their running and maintanence just remain a recurring expenditure in the city budget. The storm water drains will continue to be full of sewage that remains a health hazard

Quite correct, but do we have a choice ? With poverty at such high levels & monitoring so poor, I don't think we have any other option.

On the positive side, creation of greater bangalore by including the 7 CMCs & 1 TMC /inclusion of new wards will result in extension of sewerage services to all of these areas. Once this progresses, the demands against open drains is sure to be stronger & once they begin closing them, this problem will start reducing.

Naveen's picture

SWD Protection

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SWD at Indiranagar (near ESI hospital) has some protection to prevent people from disposing waste /refuse. They have installed a fencing - see pictures below. Perhaps these are interim measures - the long term solution is to cover them.



RKCHARI's picture

Friends, The only rational

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The only rational solution to SWD not overflowing or not taking contaminated water to join any lake is to ensure it gets treated and infiltrated to recharge ground water table "at the point where rain falls".

This can be easily done with covered SWDs and in one fell sweep we would have solved the entire run offs from roads into open drains, overflowing and hapless children falling into it.

Poor or rich, our country needs a drastic change in its mindset and we can really make the entire city beautiful, clean and pollution free.

Hope to have a meangingful discussion on Saturday with Prof Ramachandran at the new venue in IISc


Naveen's picture

Low priced solutions required

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I think the need in developing countries like India is to have low cost solutions for mass use on road sides & any place where ground water charging is necessary. Along these lines, I feel it would be a good investment if solutions are developed that are much more affordable.

If costs are high beacuse of load-bearing strength, it can be reduced by designing less stronger crates for street sides where loads are not too heavy since it would only have pedestrian traffic (the roads will have to be designed sloping to the sides from the middle to aid flow of rain water). Where there are interruptions, such as driveways or alleys, strength can be increased by reinforcement with perforated concrete slabs over the crates to aid drainage (solid slabs are in any case being used).

If the cost is cut to reasonable levels, cities might opt to use such solutions.

RKCHARI's picture

Lakes & SWDs

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Hi Naveen,

For one thing not all "foreign" solutions are expensive. It is a question of calculating the ROI over a reasonable period of time and also taking into account peripheral advantages of zero maintenance and absence of Abhishek like instances.

Yes, roads need to be designed scientifically in which the emphasis should be on making surfaces pervious for water to infiltrate. As everyone knows the rate at which rain falls and the rate at which water on road surfaces can be expected to be infiltrated or absorbed is very different. The matrix tanks under the roads at the edges and drainage cells below the porous concrete or bitumen across the surface of the road merely help to 'perch' the water for eventual infiltration over time.

It is a simple solution. Reducing the strength of the matrix tank and drainage cells will make it unsustainable (whereby I mean it would require constant repairs / changes etc involving maintenance) After research over 40 years the ideal strength has been arrived at.

I understand BBMP budgets something like Rs. 1 crore per KM. The ecological roads suggested by me are much less. A recent example is the Vittal Mallya Road being remodelled by UB & Prestige Groups at an estimated cost of Rs.10 crores. I have offered to do it at about 3/4th the cost to make it look like a portion of Champs Elysee!



ssheragu's picture

conservation of lakes

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Hai all

To be frank I have not gone through the earlier discussions by Praja members on this

I am entering this discussion in connection with my blog "oasis of greenery waiting to be saved"; this greenery is near Vidyaranyapura

Praja member "Idon'tspam" has stated that this entire green area was once a lake

If this is so, can we praja guys take up this issue with the appropriate authorities and ensure that part of this oasis of greenery takes up its earlier form as a lake and the rest is retained as an oasis of grenery.

If it is acceptable to praja members wh are on this discussion, we can meet at a common place to start with & discuss.

Many thanks


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