Friday, June 11, 2021

PNLIT turns 11 today

On this day in 2010, we registered Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust with Arathi Manay, Prasanna Vynatheya, O. P. Ramaswamy, from Brigade Millennium, and myself from South City as founder trustees. Prasanna stepped down in July 2014. Nupur Jain from Brigade Millennium, Sangita Agrawal from South City, Divya Shetty from Brigade Palmsprings and Nandhini Sriraaman from Adarsh Rhythm are currently on the board of trustees. Our team is small and we rely heavily on our gardeners Jayanna, Ramu, Srinivasa and Soma.


We are grateful for the assistance we receive from Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Kutty who's managing our newsletter so well, and Sapana Rawat our events coordinator who's waiting for the all clear signal to resume events at the lake premises. S.K. Srinivas, Madhurima Das, and Vishnupriya Hathwar, are our in-house birders/photographers, Geetha Srikrishnan, photographer, Raghavendra Shanbhag, our turn to person, Dr. K.G. Rangaraju, our hydraulic consultant, A.K. Venkat, who provides technical help with our newsletter, ornithologist Dr. S. Subramanya, and Capt. S. Prabhala, Bangalore Environment Trust. For want of space, we are unable to give the names of many more experts that we rely upon. Special mention must be made of former Chief Engineer, BBMP (Lakes), Mr. B. V. Satish, for making us official custodians of a lake, the first such in Bengaluru and to Mr. L. Ramesh Jelly from Puttenahalli ward. 


We wouldn't have made any headway with nurturing Puttenahalli Puttakere without our government partners, primarily BBMP, BWSSB, and KSPCB among others. Individual donors, largely from our neighbourhood, continue to be our primary source of income to meet recurring expenses. We executed projects with CSR funds from companies such as VMWare, Axis Bank, Deloitte Shared Services India LLP, Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Private Limited, Duleep Matthai Nature Conservation Trust, Misys Financial Software. The most recent grant was from Wipro Foundation to create a Replicable Floating Bio-filtration system in our wetland. We are excited about starting work as soon as BBMP repairs and modifies the existing wetland.  The media has covered our endeavour extensively from the early days to now. Our heartfelt thanks to all. 

What is a lake without water? The transformation of the lake became complete when we began filling it with excess treated water from South City apartment complex. Together with Earthwatch India, we held a number of programmes to spread environment awareness among several corporate employees and residents. Through advocate Sindhu Vasudev, we hope to protect the lake from encroachments.


Eleven years of nurturing the lake together. We at PNLIT have more goals, more dreams and need your support to realize them. Together we can reach greater heights. 


Usha Rajagopalan

Chairperson, PNLIT

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Lake Update on World Environment Day

Greetings to all on World Environment Day. On this occasion which calls for protecting our ecosystem, here is an update about our neighbourhood lake. 

The best news is that the Puttakere is free of sewage at last, or should we say, for now? With the BWSSB's replacement drain leaking as recently as February, we had to pursue them to get it resolved. It turned out that the connecting drain outside the premises was not big enough hence the back flow was entering the lake. For almost the whole of April, the middle of the road in front of the petrol bunk (on the BM - Arekere road) was dug up. For various reasons including rain, work couldn't proceed as planned. With BBMP, we, and the slum dwellers urging them, BWSSB engineers replaced the drain and, on  22nd April, arrested the back flow.  

The slum dwellers were forced to protest because sewage had entered several of their houses too. Two years after the High Court disposed of their writ petition, we filed one on 6th March seeking the Hon'ble Court to issue directions to the government to relocate the slum and stop sewage inflow permanently. Our WP 4964/2021 came up for hearing on 31st May. The Division Bench has asked the respondents to file their objections and fixed the next hearing on 6th July. 

After the sewage influx was stopped, the BBMP contractor had less than a week before the lock down to resume his work. He managed to strengthen the bund on the slum side, but couldn't complete the pitching or do the few other pending tasks. Like him, we too have learned to take such delays in our stride and to take (greater) pleasure in the small things at the lake. Most of the pictures in this post were taken by our gardener, Ramu, with his mobile. The quality may not be very good but they will hopefully lift your spirits. We can all do with a bit of cheer in these depressing times. 

Clean rain water, 31st May 2021

Newly fixed bird perches and in the background, revetment work in progress

The rain has turned it into a swampy grassland once again and the birds are loving it! A couple of weeks ago, our gardeners had put up perches which are being put to good use by different species of birds. Their return to the lake is one of the things that boosts our morale. 

Pigeons on perches, 29th May 2021

Green and lush, 28th May 2021

Dragon fruit flowers, 4th June 2021

Terrapin getting some sun

Red-wattled Lapwing

Swamp hens and Coot

Increasingly, researchers are pointing to a direct link between destruction of nature and outbreak of diseases. On  World Environment Day, today, let us pledge to promote awareness and protection of the environment and natural resources and do our bit through the year!

Take care. Stay safe. 

Aerial view of the lake, 4th June 2021