Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Our triumphant trio

We are delighted by the performance of our three students in the II P.U.C. exams. All of them got over 70% with Deepubai getting 75%, Sadiqa 71% and Ramya 72%. 

Living in the hutments on the lake bund, they joined our Classes at the Lake program (Teach program) three years ago. Thanks to V.P. Karthik, now pursuing PhD at IIT, Chennai, Anisha Kaul and Swathi Jayakumar, the girls' performances were beyond their own expectations in Std 10 as well. 

Our teachers not only coached them but also encouraged them to dream big. Deepu wants to do engineering and is awaiting the CET results. Sadiqa wants to become a medical doctor while Ramya is looking to become a Chartered Accountant like her teacher, Lalitha Kamath. 

Kudos to these girls and more so to their teachers who took time out from their busy schedules to help out these children. We salute each of them - Lalitha Kamath, Ramakrishna Rao, Hema Nair from South City, Sudha Veeramani, Vijetha Sanjay, Dr. C.S.N Iyer, Seema Doraiswamy from Brigade Millennium, Vivek Krishna from RBI Layout and Ancy Tom all the way from BTM Layout. Ancy is particularly delighted with her student, Deepu, for scoring 98% in Computer Science. A big thanks to all the teachers.

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

The PNLIT team, Deepu, Sadiqa and Ramya

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Invitation for the inauguration of the treated water pipeline from South City STP to Puttenahalli Lake

PNLIT is delighted to announce that a long cherished dream of seeing our neighbourhood Puttenahalli Lake brim with water will soon be a reality! 

The Chairman, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, Dr. Vaman Acharya will be formally inaugurating the pipeline to supply surplus treated water from the Sewage Treatment Plant of South City apartments (Arekere Mico Layout) to the Puttenahalli Lake tomorrowSunday 17th May at 10:00 a.m. 

After the pipeline was laid, a trial to check for any leakages was done earlier this month, and it seems that all is fine. We are truly grateful to the South City Management Committee and to the residents for helping us revive and replenish Puttenahalli Lake. On an average we can expect a discharge of 4 to 8 lakh litres of water every day. The treated water meets the parameters set by the KSPCB for urban reuse and will not harm the aquatic lives that the lake supports. 

                             Water chamber at STP                              Pipeline from STP

                        Left pipeline leads to the lake                   Water falls into the silt trap

Water flows into the lake, Trial 3-May-2015

It is for the first time that treated water from an apartment complex will be used to fill a lake in the city. More about this project can be read about in an earlier post here
Please be a part of this milestone moment for PNLIT and the lake, by first joining us at the STP in South City at 9:45 a.m. tomorrow, and after this at the lake.

With hope in our hearts
The PNLIT Team

Friday, May 8, 2015

PNLIT is a winner in Earth Day Network's शहर GREEN करो Contest

PNLIT is happy to inform you that we are one of the winners of Earth Day Network-India's शहर GREEN करो - It’s Our Turn to Lead Contest. The result was announced today. The other winners are from Kozhikode, Mumbai, Srinagar, Varanasi and can be seen on the Earth Day Network-India Facebook page hereDetails about PNLIT's entry can be seen on the Green Cities India Facebook page here.

To commemorate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day (celebrated on 22nd April) this year, Earth Day Network-India, in February, had called for entries from 45 cities on how to make their cities "Swachh" and "Green". Each of the contestants had to register with a specific task and accomplish the goal within 45 days. PNLIT's entry was on the pre-monsoon lake cleaning drive we had organized on 28th March. This particular cleaning drive had been sponsored by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and the event was attended by the KSPCB Chairman, Dr. Vaman Acharya. Another dignitary who accepted our invitation to visit the lake that day was the Upa Lokayukta, Hon'ble Justice Sri Subhash B. Adi. It was truly special for us to welcome these guests as it was to see our volunteers picking up plastic and other trash scattered on the lake bed with vigour and enthusiasm. 

Heartfelt thanks to all our well-wishers, for the unstinting support to Puttenahalli Lake and to PNLIT

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Efforts on to stop a sudden sewage inflow into the lake

On 13th April, a sunny Monday, we saw water entering the lake from the rainwater diversion channel at the lake entrance near the Brigade Millennium arch. It was so little that we thought it to be the usual wash from the adjacent MLR Convention Centre. 

However, a couple of days later when we found it increasing in volume and forming a black stinking mass in front of the diversion channel at the lake bed, we immediately informed BWSSB and BBMP. BWSSB's Junior Engineer, Mr. Nagaraj came to inspect the spot. He said that the sewage drain connected to Brigade Millennium was blocked, because of which the sewage was getting diverted into the storm water drain. This is the way the system has been designed. He got a regular Jetting Machine to clear it. This was on 16th April, but it did not work for it turned out that silt or something in the drain was preventing the flow. 

Jetting Machine, 16th Apr 2015

Then BWSSB sent a De-silting Machine but this did not work either. Karnataka Bandh on Saturday and Sunday held up the investigation and problem solving work. Yesterday, 22nd April, BWSSB engineers brought a heavy duty Jetting Machine from the sub division office It was a really huge machine which hampered evening traffic and yet even this was unable to remove the blockage. 

Heavy duty Jetting Machine, 22nd April 2015

Sewage entering the lake

Today, many officials from BWSSB came to inspect the place, along with another of the large machines.

23rd April 2015

They found that the pipe is blocked with big stones and these machines that they've been bringing will not help resolve the situation.They will get a JCB tomorrow, to dig till about 8 feet to get access to the stones to remove them. The source of the stones will be ascertained. Then it is hoped that everything will be alright. Then they will construct a chamber. It is expected that this will take 2 days.

We will continue to coordinate with BWSSB till the problem is resolved. 

Pics: Nupur Jain

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Making the dream of a water-filled lake a reality

There has been much excitement at Puttenahalli Lake, JP Nagar this past week. With the onset of summer, there is not much water in the lake but it is expected that this will not be for long. PNLIT's "get water in the lake" project is closing in on another milestone.    

A couple of years ago, a diversion channel to let storm water into the lake was completed by the BBMP. Apart from harvesting rain water, this move proved to be important in preventing the flooding of low-lying areas near the lake. Though the water level in the lake did rise during the monsoons, it was evident that this storm water would not be adequate.    

One of the questions often raised by visitors to the lake has been "Why is there so little water in the lake?" Last year, around the same time, I had written a post about summer lakes which can be read here. The option of letting treated water from a neighbourhood sewage treatment plant (STP) into the lake seemed to be a viable one, provided the quality of the water met the required standards. The L&T-built South City apartment complex that is located very close to the lake has a functional STP, so we approached the association to explore the possibility of getting its treated water, and have been treading cautiously. After painstakingly arresting any sewage flow into the lake over the past few years, the last thing we would want is a lake full of muck! Better less water than sewage water.  

Now coming back to the excitement at the lake. On 28th March 2015, the Chairman of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), Dr Acharya, visited the lake for a cleaning drive that had been jointly organised by KSPCB, BBMP, SUGRUHA (South City association) and PNLIT. Upa Lokayukta Justice Adi and BBMP Chief Engineer (Lakes) Mr BV Satish were also present. Volunteers from the neighbourhood, young and old spent their morning in clearing the lake bed and bund. Saplings of trees that can grow in water were planted in the lake bed, and poles to serve as bird perches were also fixed. 


Pic: Sanchayan Nath

More pictures can be seen here and in the linked reports.     

During this visit, the KSPCB Chairman Dr Acharya also inspected the STP at the South City apartment complex. After several months of work, the water from the STP had finally passed the quality standards. PNLIT trustees and South City representatives had met with Dr Acharya a few weeks ago to seek permission to release the treated water into the lake. After this visit, he was satisfied. Oral permission has been granted while written permission is awaited. This means that excess water from the STP instead of being fed into the underground drainage system can be let into the lake. At least 400 kilo litres per day! The connection pipe between the lake and South City's STP needs to be laid. Once this is done and a water monitoring system is installed, the lake will be ready to receive the treated water. The water quality will be closely monitored. A picture of a lake full of water is already taking shape in everyone's minds. People are waiting to see it!             

The conditions under which KSPCB has decided to let a private apartment's STP outflow into a public lake on a trial basis, the efforts involved and photographs can be seen in various related reports: 
KSPCB blog 
Bangalore Mirror 
Deccan Herald 
DNA online 
The New Indian Express