Monday, April 22, 2019

Celebrating Earth Day with a Fountain at Puttenahalli Lake (Puttakere)

Earth Day greetings. We began our celebration two days earlier with the inauguration of a fountain at our Puttenahalli Lake (Puttakere). However, till the jets of water whooshed into the air on the evening of 20th April, we were on tenterhooks. 

If the truth be told, we had been on the edge from November 2018, ever since we applied for enhanced power. With PNLIT trustees Mr. Ramaswamy and Nupur Jain following up with Bescom and the electrical contractor, we finally managed to get the additional power. We had already placed the order for the fountain with Alpha Power, Coimbatore.  

The vendor, Mr. Rajaniprakash, his men and the disassembled fountain reached late at night on 13th April. Our roller coaster ride continued till the evening of Wednesday 17th when the fountain was anchored and switched on. The central jet zoomed to a height of over 20 feet, the shorter ones to about 8 feet. What a gorgeous sight it was! 

NOW we could celebrate Earth Day 2019 and felicitate Mr. B. V. Satish, Chief Engineer, BBMP (Lakes) on his retirement. 

Two days and a morning is not a lot of time but by 2.30 p.m. on Saturday every single thing in our check list was ticked. That was when our Manager, Susheela called to say there had been no power since morning!  The local Bescom office said that maintenance work was going on but power would be restored shortly. 

It did but our heebie-jeebies remained. What if the guests assemble and there's no power? The sky was darkening. What if it rained? Mr. Satish, one of the most punctual man ever, was held up in an important meeting.  Dr. Vaman Acharya, ex-Chairman, KSPCB who had been instrumental in facilitating feeding the lake with treated water called to say that he would like to attend if the event had not been postponed due to the rain. 

Meanwhile, the gazebo was getting slowly filled with residents. Many others stood outside talking. Mr. Satish strode in briskly past 5 o'clock. When he heard Dr. Acharya was on his way, he went for a quick walk around the lake. By the time he returned, a light drizzle had started. We decided to proceed with the inauguration. A  quick welcome and an equally brief address by Mr. Satish and we trooped to the Viewing Deck. 


Fountain on 20th Apr 2019

Our gardeners had spent the morning clearing the place with extra care and had decorated the switch panel with marigold flowers. Mr. Satish pushed the switch up and whoosh went the fountain making the gathering break into loud applause. Just then Dr. Acharya came as well - to our immense relief. 

He was kind enough to share his thoughts with us, of the importance of the community to assist the government to protect lakes to safeguard our own future. This struck a chord not only with us but also with Anand Yadwad from Avalahalli Lake and Chaitanya and Subramanya from Talaghattapura Lake who had come to cheer us on our milestone - Fountain at Puttenahalli Puttakere. 

This installation would not have been possible without fund support from our partner, Axis Bank. Our heartfelt thanks to Ms. Vandana Srikanta, Vice President and Branch Head and her colleague Ms. Megha Bhargava, Operations Head, Axis Bank, Jayanagar Branch for attending the event at such short notice. We also take this opportunity to thank Mr. Vinod Jain, electrical cable supplier. 

Trustees and staff with Dr Acharya and Mr Satish

Our deepest gratitude to Mr. Satish, Dr. Acharya, fellow "lakers," everyone who had attended the event and the many more who had sent their best wishes. 

We have many plans to improve the lake and its surroundings. We look forward to your continued support. 

Best regards
Usha

Youtube Link (taken by Pranshu Jain): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbuXPf8od78   

Monday, March 25, 2019

Closure Of the Writ Petitions filed by the encroachers at Puttenahalli Lake

In February 2015, 115 (one hundred and fifteen) slum dwellers living on the Puttenahalli Lake Bund area filed writ petitions before the Hon'ble High Court of Karnataka, [Writ Petition Nos. 5073 - 5187 / 2015 (GM-RES),] against the authorities and statutory bodies. In this petition they made the following parties as Respondents: 
Respondent No.1 : Principal Secretary, Revenue Department, Government of Karnataka
Respondent No.2 : Deputy Commissioner, Bengaluru Urban District
Respondent No.3 : Secretary, Karnataka Slum Development Board  
Respondent No.4 : CEO, Lake Development Authority 
Respondent No.5 :  CEO, Zilla Panchayat, Bengaluru 
Respondent No. 6:  Tahsildar, Bengaluru South Taluk. 

For the slum dwellers' relocation and rehabilitation, the Revenue Department had identified land in Bettadasanapura, (about 8 kms from the lake) in Sy.No.20, measuring 2 acres 24 guntas and handed over the same to the Karnataka Slum Development Board

After obtaining written consent from each of the slum dwellers, BBMP agreed to fund the construction of the temporary sheds 10 x 12 feet in size. The Karnataka Slum Development Board agreed to build 1-BHK flats subsequently in the same site. 

However, the slum dwellers not only rejected the alternate land allotted for their relocation, but in July 2018,  during the pendency of the writ petitions in the High Court, they also demolished the temporary sheds (fully constructed and ready for occupancy) - causing a loss of more than Rs.70 lakhs of public money. 

The case of the Slum Dwellers was essentially that they had submitted a representation dated 23.09.2014, to the Government seeking for allotment of sites measuring 20 ft. x 30 ft, to the individual families living on the lake bund area, instead of the sheds constructed by the Karnataka Slum Development Board which they said were too small for their residential purposes. 

In Feb 2019, the Karnataka Slum Development Board filed a contempt petition against the slum dwellers in the same writ petitions, for their illegal acts of demolishing the temporary sheds. 

In March 2016, upon being persuaded, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, (BBMP) impleaded themselves as Respondent No.7 and came on record to oppose the writ petitions. Aggrieved by the long pendency of the writ petitions and lack of tangible progress, we, PNLIT, approached the Hon'ble High Court to seek for speedy adjudication. 

It is with mixed feelings of relief and trepidation that we share the news that on March 7, 2019, the Hon’ble High Court disposed of the Writ Petition Nos. 5073 – 5187 of 2015 (GM- RES)

During the final hearing of the writ petitions, the Karnataka Slum Development Board categorically submitted to the Court that the request of slum dwellers for 20 ft. x 30 ft. sites could not be considered by them under any law. Even the Court recognized the far reaching nature of such a request by persons who are illegally squatting on the lake bund area and who are rejecting the temporary housing which had been made available for their relocation. 

The following observation was made by the Hon'ble High Court in its order dated 07.03.2019 :

"Respondent Nos.1 to 3 shall take a decision on the representations of the petitioners in accordance with law in an expedite manner in any event, not later than twelve weeks from the date of receipt of the certified copy of the order. The petitioners shall not be evicted from the property in question till the decision is taken by respondent Nos.1 to 3.”  

Accordingly, we have submitted a certified copy of the order dated 07.03.2019 to Respondent No.2 (Deputy Commissioner, Bengaluru Urban District). Copies of the same letter and relevant documents have been given to Respondent No.1 (Principal Secretary, Revenue Department, Government of Karnataka), and to Respondent No.3 (Karnataka Slum Development Board). A copy of the order has also been given to Respondent No.7, Commissioner, BBMP.

In this connection, on 22nd March 2019, we met Mr. Parashuram Shinnalkar, Special Deputy Commissioner, and Mr. B. Sadashiva Prabhu, Deputy Secretary, Revenue Department, Govt. of Karnataka. 

On the one hand, we are relieved that after four years the Writ Petition finally has found closure. However, on the ground nothing will change till the three Respondents discuss the matter and resolve it in the best way they deem fit. We have been assured that they will take this issue for consideration in the last week of April 2019 - in view of their added responsibilities with the upcoming elections. Whether the request of the slum dwellers is considered favourably by the Government or not, they have earned protection to stay in the same area for the next twelve weeks, and till they are rehabilitated with basic amenities to an alternate location. 

We sincerely hope that this time the slum dwellers will have the prudence to accept the decision of the Government - whatever that may be - and cooperate with their relocation from the lake bund area, so that the Puttenahalli Lake can be made secure and restored to the fullest extent. 

With best regards,
Usha Rajagopalan
Chairperson, PNLIT

Friday, March 22, 2019

World Water Day 2019

The advent of another hot summer brings into focus, yet again, the absolute need for the conservation and preservation of one of the most precious of our resources, fresh water, whose scarcity has reached daunting levels. Basic water preservation techniques have become the need of the hour.  The life-threatening depletion, pollution and misuse of our fresh water resources do not augur well for future generations.
World Water Day, 22 March, has gone beyond the aura of symbolism to that of alarm and ominous warning.  Cities around the world have seen citizens' movements to counter the abuse of streams and lakes which are the life blood of fragile ecosystems, and to protect and preserve them. 
Our beautiful Puttenahalli lake is an example of how we, as a community, can transform a once dying lake into a sparkling life-sustaining one with a rich diversity of flora and fauna.  Our heartfelt thanks to all our well wishers, partners, donors and supporters.  

You will be happy to know that our Floating Island concept is the theme of this year's World Water Day celebration at Madiwala Lake. Do attend this event. If you are not able to, then go to our lake.  
There is no better way to celebrate World Water Day than to spend some time at our pretty neighbourhood lake, a lung-space from the manic, time-bound, work driven city life and connect to where we first came from - water.
Save water! 
Best regards
PNLIT team

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Is there no end to man's greed?

The "Ides of March," 15th March, is historically important because that was the day Julius Ceasar was assassinated.  This day became important for us from 2018 because of the heavy downpour that evening which had led to sewage entering the lake and in turn led to a massive fish kill. It was a catastrophe that is imprinted in our minds. We stepped up our effort to improve the quality of the water and are in the process of installing a fountain as aerator. Our alarm bells began to ring when we heard that Yellappa the licensed fisherman at our lake wanted to release fingerlings. 

In this heat? Will they survive? When the water level is falling drastically and many lakes are almost dry? But perhaps he knew better, we thought, because commercial fishing is his livelihood. 

Day before yesterday, 12th March, Yellappa's men released fingerlings, a few hundreds, late in the evening. Yesterday morning walkers at the lake  called to report that fish was dying at the lake. When questioned, Yellappa coolly replied that it was just a trial. The Fisheries Department had issued an advisory against releasing fingerlings in this period. He had wanted to take a chance and gone against this advisory. 




By the time his men came to remove the dead fish, our gardeners could not bear the sight and had taken out more than half a crate of dead fingerlings. Today morning some are still seen floating in the water. Small ones in hundreds. Dead for no fault of theirs. 

Is there no end to man's greed?
Usha

Friday, March 8, 2019

Riot of Yellow Tabebuia at the lake and more

Different parts of the city are aflame with the glorious colours of pink and yellow of the Tabebuia rosea and aurea. Just these two flowers in profusion make our city a very special place to live in. Our lake is not lagging far behind. We have only one pink Tabebuia but the yellow ... ah! It's truly a magnificent sight of a line of the Tabebuia aurea ... a shower of gold indeed! Even if you don't go anywhere else to see the blooms, do visit the lake. 



Tabebuia aurea

These are extra special because they were planted by our residents in July 2010 and because next to these is our pergola on which two of the climbers are flowering as well. 

Racing to catch up with the yellow Tabebuia are the line of pink Cassia at the Brigade Millennium end. The branches are already loaded with buds. 

While you are at the lake, do look out for the bird nesting boxes - One each on the Kadamba and Buddha Coconut. We plan to put up a few more. Heartfelt thanks to naturalists Mr. Uday Kumar and Mr. J.N. Prasad for donating these nesting boxes. 

Bird nesting box on the Buddha Coconut Tree

Our gardener Soma fixing a nesting box on the Kadamba Tree


Visit the lake and enjoy the riot of colours!
Best
Usha

Photos: Mrs. Parthasarathy, Nupur, Usha  

Sunday, March 3, 2019

The March Family Gardening Day






There is no better way to get away from a sterile digital world and into the wonderful elemental world of nature than to spend some time at our neighborhood  lake. Therefore, the soaring day temperatures did not keep away the 13 odd children and adults from participating in an enjoyable, full-fledged gardening session yesterday morning at the lake. We had a pleasurable two hours of weeding, clipping hedges, shoveling dead leaves and sweeping the walkways clean, all in the backdrop of the sparkling lake.

The boundless enthusiasm and energy of the young ones was heartening. One mother who had come with her two young daughters told me: "Nothing can be more healing than this. We city people need it."

This echoes what the famous naturalist Rachel Carson said- " city dwellers need to find some place to open up the disused channels of sensory perception." I am sure she would recommend Puttenahalli lake! 

Our next Family Gardening Fun Day will be on April 6th @ 9:30AM.

Vijayalakshmi
PNLIT volunteer

Pictures: Divya Shetty  

Friday, March 1, 2019

Report on our first theatre workshop

The huge wedding hoardings in our neighbouring marriage convention hall blocked the entrance to our lake from Brigade Millennium side in addition to causing traffic jam right across the gate! We, the PNLIT volunteers were agitated as parents couldn't park their vehicles and had to find a way to bring the children inside the gate. With mercury already rising, it didn't look like a good start to our first theatre workshop that was condyucted on Sunday morning (24th Feb) by Dr. Sonali Sathaye.

Nature had other plans, the cool breeze from the lake and the shade of our Gazebo and trees calmed things down while Sonali worked her magic on the 16 children who had assembled. The wedding, the traffic jam and their noises faded into the background.



The workshop started with a couple of interesting games as ice breakers which made the children get to know each other. Then came the body movement and vocal exercises which made them alert and aware. Enactment with expressions - exaggerated expressions - made them laugh at each other's silliness. 

Sonali then made the kids do an interesting exercise of observing any movement in and around the lake and enacting it. Initial hesitancy had given way to openness and the children flapped their hands happily like birds and butterflies, swayed like trees, rowed boats and drove cars!




Lastly, teams were made and each was given a short scene to enact (that included the movement and expressions learned earlier), which the audience had to guess. How those two hours flew by, we couldn't say (though the traffic jam and the honks were still going strong!!). 

We asked the children to share their experiences and here is what a couple of them said:

The workshop was great fun on the whole. At first, I was nervous. But later, I became more involved. It was fun working in groups. I got to know a lot of people. It was done in a simple yet engaging manner. I am glad I came.
Avani (10 years)


The theatre workshop conducted by Sonali aunty at Puttenahalli Lake was an interesting event. First she made us observe all the living and non- living things in the lake and then told us to act like those things. I learnt to make different types of movements and expressions. She taught us to speak clearly, slowly and loudly. I learnt to be confident and not be shy. I want to attend more events like this at the lake.
Jayadithya (10 years old)


We look forward to hosting more of such events which connect both children and adults to the natural world around us.

Sapana
PNLIT Event Co-ordinator

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Citizens' Fest at The Bohemian House

A citizens’ fest at The Bohemian House, Richmond Circle is being held on Sunday 17th February 2019.

Talking Earth’s Future Cities Edition 1 will have 4 panel discussions, over 30 speakers, 6 workshops, art zones, 20 sustainable brand stalls and much more.

The themes that will be discussed are:
- Waste
- Bangalore Heritage
- Urban Development 
- Lakes.

PNLIT Trustee, Nupur Jain will be part of the panel for the discussion on lakes, along with Kavitha Reddy, Naresh V Narasimhan, Deepanjali Naik and moderator Madhuri Subbarao. 

Topic: Are citizen-led lake revival efforts sustainable?
Date: Sunday 17th Feb 2019
Time: 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm
Location: Waterfall Area @ the Bohemian House 
Tickets available here


Friday, February 15, 2019

Theatre Workshop for Children at Puttenahalli Lake

Join us for PNLIT's first theatre workshop for children.

A theatre workshop for children aged 10 years and above, will be conducted by Dr Sonali Sathaye.

When  -   24th February 2019, Sunday, 10 a.m. to 12 noon
Where -  Puttenahalli Lake Gazebo, JP Nagar 7th Phase

Bring   - Your water bottles!

This is a FREE event, but you need to register the names as we have limited seats available.

To Register - Send a mail to sapana_rawat@yahoo.com or divyadshetty@hotmail.com with the child's name and your apartment community's name/ house address.

About the Workshop
This workshop focuses on relationships: relationships that the children will observe in the natural world (through direct observation around the lake), relationships between their voices and their bodies, between their bodies and their emotions and, of course, relationships between themselves as they act out little impromptu pieces.

Participants should come prepared to be silly, to make lots of noises and voices, not to mention trying out strange walks and expressions!

About Dr Sonali Sathaye
As an anthropologist, Sonali Sathaye sees theatre everywhere, including, most especially in the way we live our social lives. As a theatre practitioner, she seeks to share her enjoyment of this drama with children - so that they too may delight in the absurdity of the everyday.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Reports on the first Citizen Science Programme

Our first Citizen Science Programme held on 13th February 2019 in collaboration with the Earthwatch Institute India and IISc was a very satisfying one indeed. We had less than our target of 30 participants, but all of them were deeply engrossed in the Nature walk led by veteran bird watcher and educator, Mr. J. N. Prasad which was followed by a session on water conducted by two researchers from IISc. 


Nature walk

Given below are reports by two participants. 

By Ms. Narita Chengappa, second year journalism student, Mount Carmel College 

On the 13th of February, 2019, the Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust organised a Citizen Science Programme for the community with the objective of increasing environmental awareness, primarily with regards to the lake and its surrounding flora and fauna.

The event began with a nature walk around the lake, led by Mr. J. N. Prasad who informed the participants about the avian diversity of the lake and its surrounding neighbourhood. Participants had the opportunity to learn about the habits of birds such as the egret and the purple swamp hen, refute myths about the mynas and discuss pigeon population problems.
Following the walk, Lepakshi Raju and Harini Santhanam of the Indian Institute Of Science along with Surbhi Sharma from Earthwatch Institute India conducted tests on the lake water, checking for parameters such as pH level and conductivity of the water and then allowed participants to do the same. They also educated participants on how to check the nitrate and phosphate levels of the water. Following this, the two researchers from the Indian Institute Of Science handed out questionnaires for their survey regarding the attitudes of the common public towards lakes and their maintenance.
This repeated and continuous effort by the PNLIT has been a major help in raising awareness about the unfavourable treatment of lakes in and around the city. The Puttenahalli Lake, in particular, has benefitted from their proactive contributions. They have been vital benefactors to Bangalore’s lake saving movement and one can only hope that their endeavours will continue to rub off on the citizens of this city, making them more aware of the way they can also do their part.


Water testing

By Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Kutty, South City resident 
The well-attended Citizens Science Programme, held on the 13th of February, at the Puttenahalli lake premises was a pleasurable morning at our pretty neighbourhood lake with a principal thrust towards spreading awareness in the community of conserving and preserving our valuable city lakes. It was led by a well- anchored team of researchers form IISc and Earth Watch India, JN Prasad (a well-known naturalist) and head of PNLIT, Usha Rajagopalan.

Usha Rajagopalan began with an immersive talk on the history of the decade long persistence and commitment put by her team to save the dying lake. This was categorised by a display of photographs taken at different times of the lake’s passage. She spoke of the cleaning of the lake bed, the technicalities involved in channelling the rain and ground water into the lake, the planting of water purifying aquatic plants, the engineering of floating islands to improve water quality and provide bio-diversity habitat and the replenishing of the lake by treated water from the apartment complex. Her talk had a crucial underlying message - the sustenance and preservation of the lake rests on the shoulders of the local community.

Then, JN Prasad, the birder, took us on a languid walk and into the magical world of birds - the hundreds of rushing swallows high in the sky, who had arrived from Europe, the magnificent Brahminy kites swooping low, a sedentary grey heron perched on an island, the territorial common coot, the cormorant’s fishing skills, the white egrets whose feathers had once donned ladies' hats.

Finally, after a refreshing tea break, we had a presentation by the researchers of Earthwatch India and IISc, followed by the testing of the lake water with the active participation of the attendees.

The parameters included the pH level, the acidity and nitrogen content and turbidity. When the results were out there was jubilation! The water in our Puttenahalli Lake was “good”! After more pleasant reflections and deliberations we dispersed after a well-spent morning. 

We hope to have more such experiential learning events for residents in the future. 
Photos by Ms Susheela Urs, PNLIT Manager

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Citizen Science Programme invitation

We have great pleasure in inviting you to a Citizen Science Programme at the Puttenahalli Lake, JP Nagar 7th Phase. Aimed at increasing environment awareness in the neighbourhood, this event for adults will comprise a Nature Walk followed by an introduction to water quality assessment. 

Mr J.N. Prasad, a keen birder and educator will lead the Walk. Specialists from  the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) will take you through an experiential learning exercise of testing water samples taken from the lake. 


Date: Wednesday, 13th February 2019
Time: 10 a.m. to 12 noon 
Venue: Gazebo, Puttenahalli Lake (Puttakere)

Organised in collaboration with the Earthwatch Institute India and the Indian Institute of Science, this Citizen Science Programme is a free event but prior registration is required. 
Maximum number of participants = 30. Please drop a mail to <puttenahalli.lake@gmail.com>.  

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Family Gardening 2-Feb-2019

The Family Gardening Fun Day was a fun filled one with many children in attendance.

Four year-old Rohan from Brigade Millennium, who is a regular now, went about looking for snails, ants and spiders while picking up the fallen leaves. He did find a snail coming out of his shell. This thrilled him for the whole session!  

Two thirteen-year old boys joined us for the first time. Aniket from South City said,"The experience was truly exciting and fun to do. I look forward to coming again and help our lake by cleaning the environment around it". 

There are many children who are regulars to the session, held on the first Saturday of every month, and they have learnt to spot birds with ease. This time there was an egret in breeding plumage.
The children share their experiences:

Gardening at Puttenahalli Lake was quite fun. First we replanted some plants and then we watered some other plants. There were lots of birds and I had fun spotting them. I saw sandpipers, grebes, egrets and moorhens. (Nachiket, 10 yrs, South City)

Our first job was to uproot plants that were growing out of line and replant them in a straight line. Next we watered the beds. It was fun watering the plants and drenching them. I saw lots of birds too. (Rukmini, 12 yrs, South City)
I have attended most of the family gardening fun days and I see many people- young and old - come and enjoy their time with nature. Sometimes we plant saplings, sometimes we water the plants, and some times we de-weed. We also trim the hedges with the big pruning scissors which is a lot of fun for me!  The lake is a very good place to take pictures where you can capture different types of birds, butterflies, bugs and flowers. Every time I go there, I take a phone to click pictures. I have got some really good ones over time. The lake is full of different things to see and learn from. I really love spending time there. ( Aditi, 13 yrs, South City)




More pictures can be seen be seen here  (Photos by Susheela Urs)

Hope to see more children and their parents joining in our next Family Gardening Fun Day on March 2nd @ 9:30 a.m.


- Sapana, PNLIT Event Co-ordinator

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Report on the 20-Jan-19 nature walk @ lake

On Sunday 20th January 2019, Dr. Kaustubh Rau led a group of 30 adults and 10 children on an extremely informative and enjoyable nature walk around the Puttenahalli Lake. We had given the children a sighting chart on which they could mark the birds and trees they spot. With the fishermen at work, the bird count was low but still the group was able to see more than 20 species, get to know the names of some trees and climbers and hear little stories about how some of them came to be planted. Before we realised, we had taken two hours to walk one half of the perimeter! All in all, this Sunday was one that was truly well spent! 
- Sapana, PNLIT Events Coordinator





Here's what some of the participants had to say :



Thank you for organising such a wonderful event. I had actually registered  my 7 year old son and was the accompanying adult. But it was me who totally enjoyed the walk as it was the first time I was going to see birds and trying to recognise them. It was really nice to try and find out different types of birds -getting back to childhood inquisitive nature, look around with eyes and ears open - it was a forgotten activity for me. Also I was happy to see different types of trees around - trying to identify the names of each tree. I have walked across the lake at least 50 times but never bothered to look and understand the things around me. I have decided to take it forward and get to know more about each plant and birds around. My son and I have planned to do a project after we get to know more about our lake.

Thanks for creating the awareness in me. And thanks for your constant constructive discussion and detailing to my son - he enjoyed bird watching and he was very happy as he was taught how to see birds and identify the birds. His favourite was the kingfisher. 

- Dr. Lakshmi Priya




My husband Gopal and I were happy to see that so many kids with their parents, youngsters and of course nature lovers like us had turned up for the walk on a Sunday morning.

Dr. Kausthub Rau took us around explaining all the interesting details of the birds, their habitat and migration etc. It was a delight to spot the birds and discuss their colour size and feeding habits. A lot of interesting facts! Kids were excitedly noting down the details of the birds and the names of the trees on their sighting chart. The young adults seemed to know so much, we're very impressed.

PNLIT members Usha, Divya and Sapana also told us about the various trees planted at the lake, their origin and flowers. It was amazing to learn about the floating islands. So much to learn!

Wish more residents in and around the lake join in for these interesting events. Admire all the efforts PNLIT folks are taking in preserving our lake and the flora and fauna. 

- Vasanti



I truly enjoyed the nature walk last Sunday. It provided an opportunity to me to know some of the birds visiting the lake and the exotic trees so carefully nurtured by PNLIT. The enthusiasm and keen involvement of the kids was so infectious and delightful.
On the whole it was a morning well spent!

- L. Ramaswamy


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Nature Walk 20-Jan-2019

Our first event of the year is here!

Take a nature walk around the lake with an avid birder and biologist Kaustubh Rau and see what birds and insects call their home.

When - 20th January 2019 (Sunday) from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Where -  Puttenahalli Lake
For - Adults and children (children below 8 yrs need to be accompanied by an adult)
What to bring - Your own binoculars, water bottles, caps


This is a FREE event, but you need to register the name(s) as we have limited seats available.

To Register - Send a mail to sapana_rawat@yahoo.com or divyadshetty@hotmail.com with your name and apartment community name.

About Kaustubh Rau
:
Kaustubh Rau works as an educator with young people and enjoys learning about the natural world with them. Currently he teaches in the biology program at Azim Premji University.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

2019's first Gardening Day - a report

The first family gardening on Saturday 5th January was a great start to 2019. 

It was a glorious winter morning at the lake. The sun shone brightly on the trees and the water, one could see only sparkles everywhere!

Schools of fish could be spotted at various points making the cormorants a happy lot. A Spot-billed Pelican which has been visiting the lake regularly of late, came around to enjoy the sun and the lake much to the delight of our "Family Gardeners."

Trees like the White Silk Cotton and Ball Badminton are flowering. The deciduous Mahogany is still fully barren but the Thespesia is growing new leaves after shedding all their old ones on our avenue side!

They had provided enough work for the volunteers today - 5 adults, 4 children and 2 young adults. They all raked the fallen leaves and collected them for composting. When this was done, some of them set to trimming the hedges while others watered the plants. No one noticed how the hour and half went by!

One of the first time participants, a 5 year old introduced her aunt who had brought her because, as she said, her mom and dad are at home. Dad was watching television.

Keeping a straight face, I told her to get her dad to bring her the next time. 

She said, "He doesn't listen to anyone. He is a naughty boy."

Childhood is like no other phase in one's life because it is filled with wonder and curiosity. Nurture it!  Join us with your children in our next Family Fun Gardening Day on Saturday 2nd February.







Warmly,
Sapana
Event Coordinator, PNLIT

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

The Year That Was - PNLIT Highlights of 2018

The transition from one day to another is, well, as predictable as the marching of time. And yet, the shift from 31st Dec. to 1st Jan has something magical about it. It spells new hope, a fresh beginning. We hope our resolutions for the new year will bear fruit and wish that yours would come true as well. 

Here's a quick flashback on our highs and lows of 2018. 

Jan: T.S.Srinivasa’s “Discover Garden Climbers” was released by naturalist Vijay Thiruvady followed by an absorbing discussion on climbers, shrubs, grasses and more in a lively Q & A. Mr. Thiruvady and Mr. Srinivasa inaugurated the naming of the trees in our lake by hanging a board on a Badminton Ball (Parkia biglandulosa) and a Big-leaf Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla).  We are putting up the name boards on other species. 

Srinivasa and Thiruvady, Jan 2018

Feb: The northern side entrance to the lake was finally made secure with a fence and gates. A grant from VMWare enabled us to undertake this installation which had been pending since 2009 when BBMP marked the boundary of the lake. 

Mar: Heavy pre-monsoon rain on the 15th led to sewage gushing into the lake from three sources. BWSSB did stop the inflow but by then the quantum of sewage was too high and the fish began to die. By the end of the week, almost all of the fish were gone. It was a traumatic experience which made us to look into aerating the water. This has become vital because the problem of sewage continues if sporadically. We have taken this up with the Chairman, BWSSB and hope they will find a permanent solution to overflowing underground drains polluting our lake. 

Fish kill, Mar 2018

Our morale received a boost with getting CSR fund from Axis Bank to meet our operational expenses for 2018-19. Such a relief! 

Saahas, our new partner to manage the waste on the lake premises and in the surroundings, began their sensitisation programme and dry waste collection. 

Apr:   Our gardeners laid pipes from the valve chambers along the walking track to water the hedge and plants on the revetment. We used the last of a grant from Deloitte Shared Services India Pvt. Ltd. given in 2015-16 to lay this pipeline and procure ground cover plants for the slope.

Watering line, Apr 2018

May: Our lake is often mistaken for its namesake in Yelahanka or with Sarakki Lake. To end this confusion we added "Puttakere," as it used to be referred to earlier. A large sized board proudly announcing "Puttenahalli Puttakere" was put up at the northern side entrance.

Name board, May 2018

June: We revived the Family Gardening day. Held on the 1st Saturday of the month, adults and children have been working with great enthusiasm. It is open to everyone. Please bring your family too!

Family gardening, June 2018 onwards

PNLIT gardener Jayanna fashioned a fountain aerator by extending the pipeline down the slope into a perforated circular tube resting on a floating platform frame. It works well. Our gardeners are enthused to innovate more!

Jayanna's fountain, Jun 2018

July: Another different event that was greatly appreciated - Yellamma and Other Stories: Stories and musical conversations on Goddess Yellamma. Held in collaboration with the Urban Folk Project, an initiative to archive folk art forms in Karnataka. 

Urban Folk Project event, Jul 2018

Aug.: Led by Mr. Sridhar Pabbisetty of the Namma Bengaluru Foundation, a team of 20 Indian Economic Service officers from New Delhi visited the lake. 

Sept.: In a joint exercise with our knowledge partner, Earthwatch Institute India, part of an international environmental organisation, a Sustainability Training Programme was held for employees of HSBC. Scientists from IISc. conducted the programme. 

We signed an agreement with SMS Labs Services Pvt Ltd. to monitor the quality of the water on a monthly basis. Our heartfelt gratitude to the BMS College of Engineering who had been testing the water in their lab since June 2016. With several independent researchers and organisations coming over to collect samples and conduct their own tests, we felt it was necessary to have our own benchmark. SMS Labs Services Pvt Ltd. is an NABL certified laboratory. 

Oct.: One of our residents, Mr. Rakesh Kasba did a trial run of a self-designed "Duckweed Extractor."  With the duckweed greatly reduced in the lake, we need to explore whether it can be used to remove any other floating waste. 

A video series titled Eco-India by Scroll.in went live. The first episode on Bengaluru lakes includes ours. At the time of writing, it has been viewed 2,50,693 times! 

Nov.: Continuing our effort to aerate the water, we placed an order for a fountain with Alpha Powers, Coimbatore using a part of the Axis Bank grant. Special thanks to Mr. Raghavendra Shanbhag, a regular visitor to the lake for his help with this project. 

Our Children's Day celebration was made memorable by young singer, Anjana Padmanabhan, winner of Indian Idol Jr. Season One and a drum jam led by Ashirwad Achrekar and his 14 year old son, Arnav.  

Children's Day, Nov 2018

Earthwatch Institute India brought out a beautiful coffee table brochure on the Puttenahalli Lake revival story 

Dec. PNLIT Chairperson, Usha Rajagopalan was invited to the International Water Management Institute (IWMI)-Tata Partners’ Meet on 'Building Climate Resilience for Doubling Farmers Income: Innovations in Land, Water, Energy and Ecosystems' held at Anand from 4th to 6th. She gave the Keynote address at a session on 'Warriors for India's Urban Lakes.'  In her speech, Usha had highlighted the assistance PNLIT received from BBMP (Lakes), other government agencies, our CSR partners and from the neighbourhood. With your continued support, we will reach more milestones in 2019.

Striated Heron, Dec 2018

Warmest greetings to you and your family from all of us at PNLIT!

The PNLIT Team

Photo credits: PNLIT Shutterbugs