Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

Wear your cause through the year.
PNLIT Wristbands - available in two sizes, Rs 30 each.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Garganeys are back!

We are so bursting with excitement!! The Garganeys are back at our Puttenahalli Lake! They are migratory birds moving to India from Europe. Our winged visitors are female which are so similar to the Common Teal that we indeed had thought them to be the Teal when we saw them yesterday evening and again today morning. Thanks to Dr. Subramanya for identifying the bird.

Garganey females on 25th Dec 2013

Garganey females on 26th Dec 2013

We'd last spotted the Garganey at our lake in the winter of 2011, one of the few places, if not the only lake in the city, to where it migrated! We cannot but remember how Mr. Zafar Futehally had visited our lake twice just to see the Garganeys

The visitors have not taken the sheen off our resident birds and we're so delighted to see more numbers of Spot-billed Ducks, at least a pair of Purple Herons, many Egrets and of course, the Common Coots and Purple Swamphens. 

Three species of birds

Visit the lake and see them for yourselves!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lake Update

The monsoon this year has receded and the top of the stakes we'd planted in the water are showing already. This means the level is falling  but hopefully come summer, there will still be enough water for the fish to survive unlike the summer of 2013. It is indeed gratifying to see more birds at the lake. The Spot-billed Ducks are five now. You can see their exquisite close up photo featured for the month of March in our calendar

Spot-billed Ducks

We managed to "rescue" a drift wood plant display stand from being burnt and bought it off a maid for Rs. 100. It is now placed on the lake bed awaiting the birds to perch on it. Several egrets feed around but we haven't seen one of them sit on the drift wood yet. The birds in the photograph are not too clear to be identified but we hope they are Lesser Whistling Ducks (featured for May in the PNLIT calendar). 

Drift-wood perch

Purple Heron in the centre

Our trees, shrubs and other plants have grown well in the past few months. See a pic of the garden near the Gazebo. 


The water lilies we'd planted at various places are blooming and one such patch has become a nesting place for a Common Coot! It chases away other birds that come near the water with angry splashing of the water. As for the lily blooms themselves, strangely enough, the common comment we hear from regular visitors to the lake is that the sight is "calming"!!  

Water lilies

With greetings for Christmas from all of us at PNLIT. 


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Science can be fun

Puttenahalli Lake played host to the first ever public science show, by children, on Sunday 15th Dec 2013.
The event was conducted by Merry Go Learn (an IIT/IIM alumni initiative), in association with Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust (PNLIT). Students from Standards 1 to 8 who are attending sessions at Merry Go Learn, applied concepts of science and maths to perform interesting experiments, that left many in the audience, parents included, absolutely amazed.
The show included a quiz, a do it yourself stall with children making their own kaleidoscopes and an exciting treasure hunt. Apart from creating awareness through practical learning, the backdrop of Puttenahalli Lake provided the much needed environmental sensitivity that goes with making science so much fun.

Piercing a potato with a straw

Budding practical scientists  

The organising teams from Merry Go Learn and PNLIT at Puttenahalli Lake  

Thanks to Usha Krishnamurthy, Centre Manager of Merry Go Learn for the information provided and the pics.
A detailed report can be seen here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Science show at Puttenahalli Lake

PNLIT, in association with Merry Go Learn, invites you to the FIRST EVER SCIENCE SHOW conducted by students - an environment awareness initiative. 

A never before opportunity for 4-13 year olds to - 
* Get involved with a range of exciting performances - be it helping Sherlock Holmes decipher invisible clues, playing with vibrations to create amazing sounds or watching jaw-dropping chemical reactions in a giant toothpaste
* Participate in quizzes and win exciting prizes
* Get their hands dirty with science - make their own kaleidoscopes, floating rings, lava lamps and much more..

Students in the age group 4-13 years and their parents are cordially invited.

Venue: Puttenahalli Lake, Opp. Brigade School, JP Nagar 7th Phase
Date: Sunday 15th December 2013
Time: 3pm - 6pm

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Volunteering Saturday! Mark the date

After a lull, we are resuming our weekend volunteering programme at Puttenahalli Lake this Sat. 7th Dec. Please confirm your participation with an email <puttenahalli.lake@gmail.com>. 
Time: 7.30 a.m. 
Work to be done: shifting red soil from outside the gate at BM end, deweeding, trimming branches, etc. 

PNLIT is a very small team and quite often only 1 or 2 trustees are available to coordinate any activity including weekend gardening. When saddled with other unavoidable commitments, we are forced to cancel the gardening. This is why we are inviting volunteers only on one day, 7th Dec. 

To ensure continuity, we seek volunteers who can coordinate gardening for residents on weekends. It is a popular activity with adults and children alike and we've had parents work together with their children on the lake bund. It is indeed a remarkable and unusual opportunity in an urban setting like ours. 

If you would like to be a part of this gardening team, please email. Time commitment is only a couple of hours at the lake on weekends. Satisfaction quotient, very high!

File photo: Volunteers at work on one of the weekends

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

An "I Support" click can help us raise funds for Puttenahalli Lake

Over the last couple of years, we've tried many different ways of raising funds for Puttenahalli Lake, with the objective of eventually making the lake more-or-less self sustaining. And with your support, we are slowly getting there.

We've just registered for the Ripple Rewards competition on Gudville. Every month, causes that garner maximum supporters will win funding from Gudville.    

All you need to do is click on the link below to view our cause. Then login using one of your social media credentials and click the "I support" button. Done! 

 "Sustaining Puttenahalli Lake"

We are aiming for the December funding to start off with, and if we do not make it, our points will get carried over to the next month.

Thank you for your support.

Trustee, PNLIT

Our cause on Gudville: "Sustaining Puttenahalli Lake". Please click on the link to view the cause. You can login using your Facebook credentials.

I Support

Click on "I Support" to help us win funding.

Gudville - A home for your cause.
Gudville is a private social action network for discovering and sharing personal causes 
and inspiring others to take positive action.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Report on the workshop on lakes

Yesterday's workshop organized by Save Bangalore Lakes Trust and Citizens' Action Forum in association with the Rotary Bangalore Junction was very well attended by individuals and different lake groups across the city. It was held at  the Senate Hall, Central College. 

To encourage the nascent lake groups, success stories of rejuvenated lakes at Akshaya nagara, Byrasandra, Kaikondanahalli and our Puttenahalli were presented. 

Speaking on behalf of PNLIT, I chose to focus on community involvement which has been our strength. Some of the ways by which we have tried to involve the neighbourhood and to promote a sense of ownership are weekend volunteering, birthday/nature walk, story telling and the recent fundraising among many others. The increasing support we have received is reflected in the amounts of Rs. 4,800 we raised during Earth Day in April 2010 to the Rs. 4.58 Lakh in Sept. 2013 towards maintaining our lake. 

The audience appreciated our inclusive approach and asked several questions ranging from how we share information with the neighbourhood (mails, the black painted security cabin wall on which we chalk announcements), activities to spread awareness, on tree planting, etc. 

For PNLIT, it was a good opportunity to know about other lakes in the city and their journey to renovate them. I was particularly impressed by the remarkable 20 year old legal battle fought to protect and reclaim Byrasandra lake. It was an inspiring, humbling experience to hear Mr. Venkata Subba Rao. His success story can be read about here.

Sincere thanks to all.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Bangalore Heroes result announced

The results of Bangalore Mirror's campaign to recognize and acknowledge the city's heroes are out. Of the twenty-four nominees, six initiatives have been selected for the honour. PNLIT is not one of them, but we'd like to take this opportunity to thank all those who voted for us. We look forward to your continued support. May your numbers grow! :-)

To know more about the super six, please see the coverage in today's Bangalore Mirror Bangalore's six pack.

Thanks once again.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

PNLIT at the Baldwin Business & Career Fair

On 23rd November 2013, PNLIT had the opportunity to be at the first Baldwin Business & Career Fair, an initiative pioneered by my school alumni, the Baldwin Alumni Association - for Baldwinians, by Baldwinians. Special thanks to Major Goverdhan (from the organising team) who persuaded me to come down to Bangalore for this.

One of the primary objectives of this event, which is planned to be periodically held, is to create an interactive platform where eminent Baldwinians, industry leaders can inspire and mentor the high school and graduating students as they begin to make critical career choices for their future. It is expected that the students will benefit from these interactions and in turn contribute to national success in more ways than one. In the process, the old girls and boys of the school hope to build and leverage the power of a strong and vibrant Baldwin alumni network that will not only enrich our alma mater but also each other, personally, socially and professionally.

Baldwin Boys' High School, where the event was held, did not fail to impress, with its overall ambiance, infrastructure and students. It was amazing to note that everything that went into setting up the event had Baldwinians involved - shamiana, sign boards, flyers, volunteer clothes, food, first aid, music, etc. Baldwinian Rajan S. Mathews, the Director-General of COAI, was the Chief Guest. There were several speakers from an array of fields - sports, medicine, technology, law, finance, social work, architecture, corporate leadership, education, civil services, real estate, defence, communications, entrepreneurship, etc.    

Arathi talking to Mr Wilson (Principal, BBHS), Mr Rajan Mathews 

The PNLIT Stall

The PNLIT Stall had a good flow of traffic, especially children, who came by for the "I love our lakes" stickers that we were giving away. It was heartening to have a few of the Environment Studies students and staff attend our classroom workshop on environment conservation. 

Nupur, Chandini, OPR and I (and my mom Rukmani Manay who also spent the day at the stall) had some eye-opening interactions that we hope we can grow, and learnt a few things we can use while running our NGO and promoting the cause of lakes in Bangalore. (We also did a few other things like getting eyes tested, blood pressure checked, pranic healing and meditation...!)

Pictures of the event can be seen here.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Bangalore Heroes - Vote for PNLIT and Puttenahalli Lake

Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust (PNLIT) is one of the 24 nominees for IZOD Bangalore Mirror's Bangalore Heroes, people "who stand out for the impact of their initiative and innovativeness of idea". 

Turning Puttenahalli Lake from a garbage and sewage dump into a fresh oasis for JP Nagar residents. Read the report on PNLIT here.

Based on public voting and selection by an eight member jury, Mirror will announce the top 5 changemakers of Bangalore. 

Online voting only.
Your vote will enable PNLIT to be in the top five. 

To vote, please visit: http://www.bangaloremirror.com/heroes.cms and look for 
Initiative: Puttenahalli (Neighbourhood) Lake Improvement Trust. You may have to scroll pages to find us. 

Voting ends on 21st November 2013.
Please vote, and please spread the word to others to vote too. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

PNLIT Calendar 2014

PNLIT is delighted to inform you that the PNLIT Calendar for 2014 is ready for printing. A sample page and snapshot of the 12 months are given below.

As you can see, each of these birds is a beauty, shot in high resolution by PNLIT Shutterbugs making the calendar itself a collector's delight not just for the new year but for all time to come. What makes the PNLIT calendar even more special is that these birds are seen in our own little neighbourhood lake, the result of PNLIT's effort to make Puttenahalli Lake an avian paradise!

The desk top calendar will be printed on A5 size quality art paper, 8 sheets, back to back, with durable wiro binding. The cost per piece is only Rs. 200. Postage extra. Sale proceeds will be used for the upkeep of the lake.

Buy a PNLIT Calendar for yourself! Gift it to your near and dear!
To book your copies in advance email <puttenahalli.lake@gmail.com>. Corporate enquiries for bulk orders welcome. Please share this information with your contacts.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

About the Bangalore Needs You - Civic Action Workshop

The event 'Raise Your Voice Bengaluru' (as I understood it) was to bring those concerned people who would like to participate in their own capacity to make our Karnataka a better place for us and our posterity. The venue was NMKRV College, Jayanagar 3rd Block on Sunday the 27th Oct 2013.

The lead person of the organizing group Mr. Rajeev Gowda spoke eloquently and sincerely, so too each and every one of the other seven speakers. The message was loud and clear! People come out and participate as rightful citizens of this nation, demand quality in all aspects & demand good governance.

Mr. Manivannan, IAS, Chief Project Officer at Kar State Highways Improvement Project, spoke about the need for everyone to lodge their protests when they see something amiss in the government departments. He emphasized that if more and more of us insist then any government department will have to buckle under the pressure, and this, he said was completely missing in our country. Also if one person demands explanation, e.g. say complaining about a BMTC bus in bad shape, it then requires a lot of perseverance from that person before the government reacts. Whereas when a number of persons complaining is more, then the remedy coming forward from the government is faster too, that is, he said 'Action time by the government is inversely proportionate to the number of people demanding'.

There was a group of eight youngsters in their 20s. They were from the group that is running a campaign called 'Swalpa Clean Maadi' (Clean up a bit). When they got to know that the program was delayed by about 30 minutes, they went out and cleaned up the foot path and painted up the kerb stones, street address board and even managed to get some lawn and lay it around a tree there. It was quite a stunning sight to see what could be done by a small group in such a short time. Of course there was a short video to show some of the wonderful work these youngsters have been doing.

Retd. Navy officer Commander P.G. Bhat gave out some stunning statistics, recollecting a few:-
That there are something like 67 lakh voters in Bangalore and there are approximately 11 lakh duplicates in them. He said even the MLAs & their families were listed multiple number of times and when asked...  well that's another subject.

Other speakers including Mr. Prithvi Reddy made a mention of the fact that only around 40% of the population vote and out of which half is either spurious or dubious votes, and that means  he said only 20% of this nation's people decide who is to govern us. Hence he insisted that each and every voting card holder must and should make it a point to come out and vote.

Mrs. Usha Rajagopalan's presentation on the people's participation in saving the lake highlighted the fact that only with the help of people can a 'gone for good' kind of a lake can be brought back to life.

Mr. Ashwin Mahesh's with anecdotes drove home the point that a society should increase the number of problem solving people.

Overall the evening program did show that we as citizens could make a big change in the quality and health of this country.


Some references and names:
Janaagraha, Praja.org, Abide, Alternative Law Forum, DAKSH, Bengaluru Unites, Bangalore Political Action Committee etc. so on and so forth. Please see the websites for more information on individual activities of these organisations.
Campaigns like:
Pink Chaddi Campaign, Corruption Saaku
Interesting article on P.G. Bhat can be seen here.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bangalore Needs You - Civic Action Workshop - 27th October 2013

Puttenahalli Lake Revival Team will be there.


Namaskara Bengaluru!

This is your chance to make 'Namma Bengaluru' better.

Come join us at the CIVIC ACTION WORKSHOP on Sunday, 27th October from 4pm - 8pm. Meet civic experts Manivannan (IAS) & Ashwin Mahesh (Mapunity, Lok Satta Party). Learn from success stories of Swalpa Cleanup Maadi & Puttenahalli Lake Revival Team. Engage in a panel discussion with PG Bhat, Prithvi Reddy & Uttara Narayanan on fixing the electoral rolls.

We will also launch our 'Weekend Warriors' program during the event.

Register here NOW! ---> https://bit.ly/civicactionworkshop

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Nominated for "Bangalore Heroes"

Bangalore Mirror's Bangalore Heroes campaign looks beyond everyday do-gooders and simple acts of kindness, to honour people or institutions that have decisively and positively changed Bangalore for the better. 

PNLIT is honoured to be nominated for this, for turning Puttenahalli Lake from a dump into a fresh oasis. 

A big thank you for all the support that PNLIT has received - from the BBMP and other authorities, residents of the locality, volunteers, donors, the media and other well-wishers. Without this it would have been impossible to reach this far. We still have miles to go together.      

Bangalore Mirror, 18th Oct 2013

Read the article online here.
See the related video here.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Shrike Sighting

Ever since our volunteers heaved the dead tree down the slope and onto the lake bed it has been a favourite perch for some bird or the other. Mostly though, it was only for mynahs and a stray kingfisher. Some days ago, our gardeners set the tree upright and planted it firmly in the ground, well above the water mark. In the recent downpour, however, the level increased to such an extent that the dead tree was exactly as we had wanted it to be - in a foot or more of water. Since then it has become a perch for Little Cormorants, Pond Herons and the Kingfishers. 

Our dead-tree perch (Pic: Usha)

On 8th Oct. at about 4 p.m., I spotted a new bird on the tree. It was about the size of a sparrow, with a grey crown and shoulders and a maroon back. Its wings and long white tipped tail were black while the underparts of the body were white. A bold white patch on sides heightened the striking colours of the bird. What was it? The black bandit like band over its eyes was a give away. I knew it had to be a Shrike but which one? 

I called Mr. Gopinath an avid bird watcher who from childhood has been keeping a record of every new bird he's seen, time and location. I described the bird that so obligingly sat on the tree, turning this side and that side like a model at a photo shoot. Mr. Gopinath said, "Wait. I'll come." 

That's fine but what if the bird flew away by then? Mr. Gopinath came by car with camera and bird book in hand and we began walking towards the dead tree. Just then OPR spotted a water snake zooming towards the nest of a Common Coot. Mr. Gopinath captured the drama of the snake evading the coots, the chick escaping the predator, the coots finally chasing the snake in the water. 

As we feared, by this time the bird had flown away and all that we saw were the bare branches. I'd taken fairly decent shots of the model bird and we sat on a bench nearby to identify it from Mr. Gopinath's bird book. It was without doubt a Bay-backed Shrike he declared and looked up. There was the bird sitting on the tree once again!

The Bay-backed Shrike (Pic: Gopinath Subbarao)

Subsequently we found out that it is not easy to spot the Bay-backed Shrike in an urban setting. It feeds on small birds, lizards and rats which are normally found in open countryside, thorny jungle and cultivated areas. It so happens that to the right of the dead tree is the highest (and driest part) of the lake overgrown with wild shrubs and bushes. We have rued the elevation here which prevents water from covering the ground but not any more. We have the best of both elements at our lake - water birds and the Bay-backed Shrike.

Lesson I learnt - always go to the lake with a bird guide. 

Happy bird watching to all.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Celebrating Puttenahalli Lake restoration

One of the highlights of Navaratri is the Golu (Bombe Habba) when dolls are displayed tastefully on shelves. It is also an opportunity for the family to show their creativity by setting up a park or garden with sprouts and little figures. What is less known about Golu is that in earlier times the celebration aimed at encouraging dredging or irrigation canals and river beds. The clay thus removed was used to make the dolls. 

One of the residents at South City invited me yesterday for haldi kumkum. Raji had arranged the Golu in the front room so I went automatically towards it and then stopped short. Near the wall, in front of the Golu steps was a very familiar sight - the Puttenahalli Lake! Raji and her young son Aditya had recreated the lake on thermocol with such attention to details that anyone who's visited the lake even once would be able to identify it! For good measure, on the wall was the PNLIT logo, the date palm!

More pix can be seen here.

I forgot all about the formal assembly of dolls on the shelves and sat on the floor in front of the lake as mesmerized as I am with the real lake! Did Raji know the ancient significance of the clay dolls? Perhaps not but what she and Aditya had done was truly to celebrate the rejuvenation of the lake. This is an honour each of us trustees will treasure for ever!

The vital role a lake plays is to act as catchment and prevent flooding in the area. Last night saw perhaps the heaviest shower in a long time and the water level in the lake has gone up by at least three feet or more.

For more pix see here.

Even with the bulk of the water going to the lake, there's water logging at various places. Imagine what would have happened if our lake had gone the way of hundreds of Bangalore's now extinct lakes! Truly, we do need to celebrate lakes by nurturing each one of them. 

Navaratri greetings to all

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Eggciting Boating at Puttenahalli Lake

Maintaining our Puttenahalli Lake is really so full of challenges which tax, vex and worry us at times but it also springs surprises that make our hearts sing! Today morning was one such great day. Yellappa, the fisherman contractor called to say that his men were on their way to the lake to plant the stakes, remove the new shoots of weeds, clean the water of stray plastic, etc. They had come at 5 a.m. and left the fibre glass coracle at the lake. 

My friends and I swung into action. We had already bought the casuarina poles, three of about 4 ft length and three of about 11 ft. The men sharpened one end of the pole, fixed short halved pieces of bamboo across as a perch for the birds and we set off bearing these poles and the oar while the two men carried the coracle like a big umbrella over their heads. 

Nupur, her little daughter, friend and I went with the two fishermen in the coracle to tell them where to place the poles. That dry fissured ground of a lake bed where we had walked just a few months was covered with several feet of water. Some weed was growing lushly within the water (seen as dirty masses from the ground above). This plant though, is safe, home for the fish and the great variety of life in the lake, seen and unseen. 

We hoped to see some of the 3000 fingerlings we'd released two days ago. We didn't see any. They must be hiding among the weeds. On the surface of the water were hordes of Water Striders skimming everywhere. Among them in the rippling water we saw floating water lilies! Where did they come from? At PNLIT, we'd just been talking about introducing lotus and lilies. The lilies at least was already present and blooming!

Spot-billed ducks

Water lilies

Like the Water Striders we went here and there on the water. The men kept planting the stakes, thrusting it into the ground with force and hammering it firmly into place with a stone. The longest pole at a little over 11 feet was still not long enough for any of the three deepest places at the lake. We therefore got them planted at shallower points with a good foot or two jutting out of the water. Kingfishers, cormorants, your perches are ready. 

Water level markers - cum - bird perches

While removing the alligator weed some weeks ago, the men had left untouched little patches of the weed which had eggs in them, almost all of them of the Common Coot. A few of the older nests were vacant but one had a single egg in it. We went a little further (between the viewing deck and the inlets). Right in the middle of a lush growth was a nest. The men slowly guided the coracle around to give us a glimpse of the contents. The nest contained not one or two but a clutch of SEVEN eggs!  This sight alone was enough to encourage us that we are on the right track in making this little lake in our neighbourhood a secure habitat for birds!

Eggs of the Common Coot

The fishermen, back to deweeding work

Without support from the BBMP, donors, volunteers and well wishers, we would not have been able to achieve this miracle of restoring a lake and seeing it thrive. 

Thank you all. 


Friday, September 27, 2013

An exciting afternoon at the lake!

Yesterday, some of us spent a delightful afternoon at the lake releasing some 3000 fish (fingerlings) into the lake. Fisherman Yellappa whom we've hired to remove the alligator weed from the water bought three species - Rohu, Katla and Glass Carp from the fisheries department. The Glass Carp is a herbivore and will nibble the aquatic weed.  All three are fresh water fish and common species, popular among fish eaters but the ones introduced today are specifically to attract birds and not for human consumption!

The fish

Kumar releases the fish

The specs are fish!

We also tried out our inflatable boat, that we got from a well wisher last year. Since the water level increased only from this monsoon, we were able to use it only now. Yellappa and others rowed a short distance in the water. They returned safely all right but, though we have life jackets, the rest of us preferred to remain on firm land! The boat is specifically for periodic monitoring of the waters, and to assist in deweeding. Boating is not on the agenda!

Inflating the boat


Next steps:
* We've bought casaurina poles of different lengths which Yellappa's men will plant at various points in the lake. These will serve the dual purpose of indicating the level of water and as a perch for the birds. 
* We plan to introduce Guppies into the water soon. Guppy is a popular freshwater aquarium fish which feeds on mosquito larvae.

For those of you living in the neighbourhood - if you'd like to be a part of this excitement, please email <puttenahalli.lake@gmail.com>;. We'll inform you about planting the poles, introducing the guppies, and anything else.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Reproductive success at its best!

Extracts from an email from Vishnupriya Hathwar, who frequents Puttenahalli Lake 


Just wanted to share somethings that many of you may have already observed [ or maybe not].. here goes !!

Due to the wonderful rains, the lake has filled up quite a bit, leaving only smaller islands for the birds.
In this, the most common birds- the Common Coots have chicks that are almost grown to adult size [ only the plumage is still lacking].
Spotted a pair of Coucals - appears that they too have a young one!! Spotted a small Coucal with FRESH plumage flying across the lake.
I have personally never seen a young one of a Pond Heron up close... happened to see one meek little pond heron with its drab mottles and blotches of dirty brown hiding in the weeds between the gate [entrance to the lake] and the island.

Long shot of coot and chick (Pic: Usha)

The purple swamp hens and the dabchicks [ little grebes] are not far behind in reproductive success !! some of them have chicks as well!

I am kinda missing the kingfishers and purple herons actually !! oh yes - managed to see the Pheasant tailed Jacana as well !! beauty of a bird I would say.

One suggestion - is it possible to introduce lotus leaves into a part of the lake?? This would get the Jacanas to start breeding there as well !!
I know some of us would question about the maintenance part... but that's something we need to do all the time right??

Over the last couple of years, more than 60 species of birds have been spotted at Puttenahalli Lake. We were pleasantly surprised to come across Golumolu's blog post in June, about birding in Puttenahalli Lake - that can be read here.
To know more about the birds of Puttenahalli Lake, check out the PNLIT Flora and Fauna webpage, that has this carefully documented.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Appreciate your support to PNLIT

Dear friends,

With a good monsoon this year and with street rainwater harvesting in place, the Puttenahalli Lake is slowly filling up with rainwater. The trees are growing well, and the birds, butterflies, fish and other creatures are settling down in this restored ecosystem. The people of the lake vicinity have an assured public open space and a place for recreation.

All this has been made possible because of the patronage that Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust, PNLIT (the custodian of the lake) has received from the residents of the area and other well-wishers, through visits to the lake, participation in the lake activities, volunteering and donations. 

Volunteers at the lake

School children on a nature walk

Nesting birds

Relevance. Because Lakes = Community = Life.
The relevance of lakes for a large, incessantly-growing metropolis like Bangalore cannot be emphasized enough. Pollution, shortage of water and urban flooding during heavy rains will only affect the city more adversely, year after year. Lakes have significant environmental, social and infrastructure development implications. They raise the water table in a geophysical zone, act as a catchment for rainwater (hence drinking water) and are responsible for the cooling convectional rain cycle that the city sees during summer. They reduce the zone's temperature and air pollution, act as a buffer space during flooding, clean the air and are a habitat for diverse animal and plant life.

For those who are not familiar with the background of Puttenahalli Lake, JP Nagar 7th Phase:

- A sign of successful development is the natural evolution of the lake ecosystem – animal, bird and plant life. From being a dumping yard in 2008 the lake is now home to at least 60 species of birds, including migratory ones, and wonderful flora. There is a 920 m walkway, a gazebo and guard house and visitors, walkers and bird lovers are frequent.

- Seeded by a group of residents (in 2008) keen to revive the ecological stability of the lake, in the interest of the community and nature conservation, PNLIT is the first citizens' group to take over a lake's maintenance from the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike).

- The working model, often referred to as the "Puttenahalli Lake Model", is being replicated by the BBMP/ BDA/ Lake Development Authority elsewhere in Bangalore City.

- PNLIT's efforts have today led to an extensive 'lake-saving movement' in Bangalore and has heightened public awareness of the importance of lakes through constant attention in the media.

- PNLIT won the Namma Bengaluru Award 2012, was the 1st runner-up at the TCS People's Green Award 2012, and was a finalist at the Mahindra Spark the Rise 2012. 

BBMP funded and executed the restoration of the lake but gives no financial assistance for monthly expenses and other improvements. PNLIT has been meeting these expenses through public donations, sale of our products (such as T-shirts, cloth bags, coasters, nature walks) and last year, through the awards received.
In the last financial year, PNLIT was able to make some key improvements at the lake including:
- planting of an additional 200-odd trees and shrubs
- sprucing up the approach area, a neatly secured, yet accessible garden area
- rain water harvesting tanks and well in the lake bed
- cycle stand, wheelchair access gate, exercise bars, essential signage
- small dustbins, enclosure for garbage near the hutments
- preliminary work for a butterfly house.

We also have acquired some useful tools and equipment that would assist in the maintenance and upkeep of the garden and lake areas. Apart from the monthly expenses, we have been focused on building up a corpus fund – so that in the years ahead, the interest earned will be able to meet a large portion, if not the entire monthly expenses.

Monthly expenses currently are in the range of Rs 40,000 – 50,000 per month. These include salaries of the field staff for sweeping, gardening, deweeding and other odd jobs, and other recurring expenses.   

The primary objectives of fund-raising are:
- to meet current monthly operational expenses
- to ensure a lasting, positive, dependable environment for community interaction and
- to make the lake development effort truly self-sustaining for the long term.

Our immediate fund raising target, to meet the expenses for 2013-14, is Rs 5,00,000/-, of which we have raised Rs 1,50,000/-. We are open to any innovative and interesting ideas that could integrate your family, organisation or institution, to help our funding needs to be met. Funding can be of any denomination, at this point we need all the assistance we can get. You can make a one time donation or a recurring amount periodically. 

Donations may be made in cash, cheque or by direct remittance.Donations are eligible for income tax exemption, u/s 80G of the Income Tax Act (50% deduction from taxable income) 

Donation in Cheque (in favour of "PNLIT") or Cash may be given to our representatives:
Nupur Jain, C612, BM Cassia – 9886629769
O P Ramaswamy, A917, BM Mayflower – 9845079076
Usha Rajagopalan, B3-502, South City – 7259722996
Vidula Krishnaswamy, Brigade Palm Springs – 9845423432
If sending cheque by post to our registered office:
PNLIT, Usha Rajagopalan,
B3, 502, South City, Arekere Mico Layout,
Off Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore 560 076 

Direct remittance
Internet Banking
Branch name - State Bank of India, RBI Layout, Bangalore 560078
Savings Account no 31209228099 in the name of "Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust"
MICR Code: 560002090
Transfer within India - IFSC Code: SBIN0004408
Transfer from abroad - Swift Code: SBININ BB423 (The bank charges Rs 500+other fees for Forex transfer - so not preferred)

Credit Card/Debit Card - PNLIT Store on eBay Charity

Let us continue working together to bring stability to the Puttenahalli Lake ecosystem. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email Usha 7259722996 <puttenahalli.lake@gmail.com>.

Thank you for your continued support.
The PNLIT Team


Stay connected

Website - documents the progress of the project, flora and fauna
Email group: pnlit@googlegroups.com
Social media: FacebookTwitter
Blogs: Plog - The PNLIT BlogPuttenahalli Post on Citizen Matters
Blackboard, notice board and educational information boards onsite, in the lake premises.