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

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