Whoa! What a morning we had today at Puttenahalli Lake!
The day 14th April, started quite early with some sixty-five volunteers from across the city coming over to help PNLIT deweed the lake bed. Their enthusiasm was infectious and translated into a great deal of work - digging the weed, piling it into baskets and then taking it to a corner of the lake for composting into manure. They formed neat lines with the one in the fore uprooting the invasive Alternanthera weed with a spade. The roots are formed such that they come out in matted slabs which other volunteers heaped into a basket and passed it down the line to join the steadily rising pile. Working under the blazing sun can tire anyone but our gang worked steadily through their allotted time of one and a half hours before signing off. By then they had cut a huge swathe into the weeds and made a satisfyingly big pile. We saw them off hoping fervently that they would return again and again and again, till we have cleared the lake bed before monsoon takes over.
There was more excitement in store for us. In a vacant plot across the lake someone had flipped a burning cigarette butt into a pile of inflammable garbage thrown indiscriminately by people. Thick black smoke rose into the air and flames leaped up. Arathi called the Fire Brigade and they promptly sent a fire engine over. Led by Mr. Puttaboraiah, Anjanapura station officer, the firemen directed streaming water from their hose pipe and put out the fire. They went down to the blackened mass, raked it and put out the lurking flames. The sight attracted passers-by. Perhaps the person who caused the fire was among them. Would he even realize what he had done?
If the sight of the volunteers clearing the lake bed warmed our hearts, sitting in a fire engine would be a childhood dream come true for anyone! Here's one tale to tell my grandchildren - how I got to sit in a fire engine! It almost made me forget our catastrophic performance in Spark the Rise.
For the record: Project now in place 12 is catching up steadily and is 13 votes behind us. If you'd still like to vote for our lake - send text MHRISE P07 to 54646.