Saturday, January 12, 2013

Please walk past the lake on 13th to reach MLR

Please use "Doosra" as an excuse to walk through the lake and reach MLR Convention Centre. You'll see that the water level is low. It is covered with Salvinia Molesta. BUT don't miss the birds. It is likely that you can id the birds yourself but just in case you want to know - Purple Moor Hens are plenty. So also pond herons. The Purple Heron (we have a pair) take a little spotting. They are big but sit so still while waiting for prey, you may not even notice them. The Ashy Prinias are plenty too but they are small, and not easy to spot either unless they fly out into the open. They are also called warblers and you may hear their cheerful "tweet ... tweet." Other birds to look out for are: White breasted Kingfishers, White breasted Waterhens, Bronze winged Jacanas, Tailor birds, sun birds and mynahs. All these are our resident birds - Salvinia or no Salvinia. Bless them!

Going from South City, please take the walking track on the left. (The pathway on the slum side has been dug up further ahead for the BWSSB to lay a bigger Under Ground Drainage pipeline.) As you walk along the track, look at the assorted trees. The smaller ones near the turning were planted only a few months ago. Those towards the Gazebo were planted from July 2010. Some are very tall and some have begun flowering as well. As part of the 3rd phase, the BBMP has laid an irrigation pipeline all along the fence. To prevent miscreants from ripping it up, it is laid underground. However, you will see a short length of blue - grey plastic occasionally jutting out of the ground. A valve will be fixed to these ends. Once water connection is given, we will fix a hose pipe and draw water from these points. When it becomes operational, we intend to plant shrubs between two trees within the inner grill. The shrubs will serve the dual purpose of attracting butterflies while deterring trespassers from crossing the fence.

As you come out of the lake premises, the huge concrete pipe lengths outside are for the diversion channel to harvest rain water from Brigade Millennium (BM) road into the lake. The contractor wanted to begin work last week. We requested him to do so after the play on Sunday (so that you can walk through to reach MLR). Our lake is one of the very few in the city to be free of sewage inflow, hence the low water level. With the new diversion channel in place, we hope more rain water will enter the lake. Well before monsoon, the contractor will remove the Salvinia from the surface of the water. More birds will then return to the lake making it once again a little bird sanctuary in our neighbourhood! 

After this walk or after seeing the play, if you feel peckish please visit the MLR Snacks counter. Kai Ruchi will be serving Hot Bhajji, chaats, hot and cold beverages at reasonable rates.

On your way back from MLR, take another good look around the lake and its premises. Together with the BBMP we are slowly inching towards transforming the lake with lots of clean water, birds and butterflies. We need your support to sustain our work. Come to the lake as often as you want, help us effect the transformation!

Oh yes! If you didn't get donor passes in advance, it doesn't matter. You can get them at the venue. Two shows: 3.30 and 7 p.m. Each pass goes to nurturing the lake and remember, you can claim IT exemption u/s 80G. Go for it! See Doosra! Help our lake!

Those from BM side (who can reach MLR without crossing the lake) can still take a walk to the lake before coming back to MLR!


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