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Lakes and Land Use

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 India has a total land area of 328 Million Hectare (MH), out of which 162 MH have already come in to cultivation. This is a high percentage of 51% of the total land of the country. The forest and natural vegetation area is about 19.25%, which is less than an optimum of about 33.33%. Photographic proof from satellite imaginary seems to have proved this beyond doubt. Forest (green) is important for keeping the CO2 balance in the atmosphere.

Coming to the lakes, what are they? Lakes are the artifact for the rain water to be held back for later use. It is a huge man made water tank by blocking the natural flowing water by a suitable dam. Our Bellandur Lake is an example. The Bellandur Lake water was used for agricultural purpose. Even to day one can see a dwindling few cultivating their lands by this water. When the BWSSB chairman himself says that it is not possible now to stop the sewage water entering the storm water drains it can only be a very sad commentary of how things are going wrong. Currently the B Lake has no aquamarine life. Earlier the tank Fish was being sold at the lake side villages.

Theoretically there are two options. 

  1. Let the B tank become dry and use the exposed land to build residential sites, like The HAL III stage ISRO office sitting on a reclaimed lake.
  2. Rejuvenate the lake to develop aquaculture. The lake can be a much needed lung space. Can be used for Water sports etc.

 The first option would be suicidal probably. 


psaram42's picture

Grabbing the B Lake Land for residential use

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“Why is land grabbing a bad thing if it eases pressure? Is it bad if a garbage dump is land-grabbed? Lakes in their current state are useless anyway.” 

On the contrary I would consider IT is more useless any way. 

“Untreated sewerage does not a manure maketh.” 

Sewage which is human excreta is “hazardous” as there is no unlimited space in a human body, to store it. Naturally it is excreted by attending the natures call. It is not a poison as such. I know you will not believe it but it is true. It is definitely not a poison to the soil. Only thing it is to be covered by earth and kept wet to decompose and dispel the nitrogen back to the atmosphere. Then it is first class manure to the plants. Now a days there is a craze for organic farming. (Namdhari vegetables) Cow, sheep dung, green tree leaves and earth is used to “treat” the Sewage to get the organic manure.


Life on the planet earth has sustained for millions of years by this natural organic manure.  It will sustain as long as no calamities descend on the planet from outer space or created by a nuclear war or accident etc. Too much IT can also cause indigestion and could prove to be a hazardous technology in turn. -:) 

sanjayv's picture


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 Well,  lakes / lake systems today are basically a conduit for treated and untreated sewage, as well as the end points for most rain water.  At the very least, encroachment of lakes will correlate to an increase in flooding / poor drainage.

RKCHARI's picture

Lakes & Life

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Let us hope the sarcasm in Mr. PSA's comment above is not lost on the authorities!

Lakes undoubtedly deserve to be sustained, not encroached upon or used as sewage dumping area. I think if nothing else, the Gods themselves will "punish" us in some form or the other if we wantonly misuse nature. And Lakes and large water bodies are very much part of our ecosystem.

I think there should be a movement by the citizens themselves whereby we simply take up the maintenance of Lakes on ourselves. Let a strong body of citizens just shut off untreated sewage being directed to the lakes. Let the authorities then face the music.

It will cost money, but I am sure public spirited industrialists like Mr. Narayana Murthy and Ms Kiran Majumdar Shaw would be happy to support an honest citizens initiative than forcibly pay into the Government coffers.

Instead of sporadic initiatives by different groups and scientific bodies like IISc pontifying about solutions, but doing nothing more about it, dont you think every Bangalorean should roll up their sleeves and have a marathon brainstorming session after which the majority opinion should be followed for whatever it is worth.


psaram42's picture

Lakes as water conduits

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 Lakes are mainly artificial man made water storage tanks. The road, now tarred, connecting the HAL airport to the outer ring road at Sarjapur side, runs on a mud dam built on purpose, to create the BellandurLake. The extra water overflowing is the actual water flow which would exist even without the lake being there. This point is a bit elusive. -J Treated or untreated water is also not a parameter in the discussion. When the rains are there a larger quantity of water equivalent to the amount of rain fall in the catchment area has to be accommodated, in addition to the normal sewage water. With all this there will be still a huge surplus land available for use / misuse, on the banks of the rivulet. This land is not in the radar of the influential people at the helm of affairs as long as other easy open land is available. In fact the lake is a value addition to the adjacent land. [Like in the Ulsoor Tank case] 

The end point of all surface flowing water has to be the oceans. In rare cases the water can disappear straight in to the mother earth. 

Flooding is the consequence of poor drainage. When Bellandur Lake is encroached upon one should preferably have a class one local drainage system connecting to the above rivulet. comment guidelines

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