I met Avyay and Sneha at the opposite side of Yellachanahalli metro station, where Natasha ma’am and Shashank sir met us instead of Preetham sir. We got on a bus to the NICE road stop and walked all the way to Preetham sir’s apartment.
There, we met Preetham sir and the rest of the team, and a new person, Vineeth sir who came to see and assist our Lake visiting trip, to help us plan and prepare the Lake Expedition. We said our morning prayer and played a small game. We did the sharing circle together and had our snacks and Natasha ma’am gave her own snacks to the ones who forgot to bring their snacks. We waited for Chaitanya, the lake activist to come, as she lives in the same apartment and started our visit to the lakes. I travelled along with Shashank sir, Natasha ma’am and Vishnu with Vineeth sir driving the car.
We first, visited Chikka-Thimmayana Kere (lake). The size is 2 to 3 acres. It is dried up now, leaving only the storm-water drains to see and that also is all covered with grass. Some part of the former lake has been turned into roads. We met an owner of the adjacent land who used farm on this land and is currently fighting the BDA for his land which has been acquired, as otherwise they will build some park or building in that land. He also shared storied Shikkakai trees growing near the lake and how this lake water was used for agricultural and drinking purpose. Now, it’s not fit for anything as the heavily polluted water from Talaghattapura kere (lake) feeds this lake through the storm water drain which is mostly dried up, with some plants remaining.
Next, we visited Thalaghattapura lake and found the locals defecate on the path or walkways surrounding the lake, because there are no toilets in the area. I got to know this is called ‘Open Defecation’. On the banks of the lake, there was a lot of garbage and poop everywhere. The lake was completely covered in water weeds and was extremely dirty because of the sewage and trash getting dumped in by the trucks. We also spotted a water tanker taking water from a borewell which was situated next to the lake, wonder what the water quality would be like and who would be using it. There is a tank built inside the lake for the Ganesh Chaturthi festival which I got to know is currently not being used. Surprisingly, we spotted 3 to 5 birds here, a small burial ground on the lake bed, chemical foam on the lake like Varthur lake, but was less. We then, visited Lingadheeranahalli lake. It is now a grassy plain for animals to graze. During rain, some parts of the lake fill up. Some parts of the 5 acre lake area are encroached, as it started raining, we returned back to each of our group’s cars.
We stopped near the Waste Processing Plant and Chaitanya ma’am and her husband Subbu sir, told us how nearby residents complain about the stench from this building. It is actually illegal to make one near a residential area. They supposedly fool the officials by tricking them that nothing is stinking. There is also the trouble that the residents don’t segregate their waste which makes it difficult for the waste processing plant to process faster and this builds up a mountains of trash that even this large building has to be made more bigger. They use JCBs and cranes to process and transfer the trash into the machine and there’s a like mountains of trash to clear.
We reached outside Sompura lake, as it was drizzling, we stopped and ate our lunch. After lunch, we all entered Sompura lake which still looks like a lake unlike Chikka-Thimmayana Kere and also not half or completely dried up like the ones seen before. This lake also was poisoned recently by dumping sewage water in it and the few animals which drank its water had died.
They have a plan to clean it now and this had enough water, because of the good rains but wasn’t full. It’s a lake open to the public to visit or go for walks. It is near to NICE road and Turahalli forest. We spotted a peahen there, because it’s near a forest and it has fences that border the forest and NICE road for safety for the residents living nearby.
It was very hot during the walk around it. The last lake for the day that we visited was Jogi lake. It was half full of water and the lake is fenced outside and is a park for joggers and walkers to enter. Some parts of the lake was grassy with treated sewage and polluted water. There are apartment and buildings being built near it, there’s a worry that it will dry up too unless the rain keeps continuing, then it’s fine. We spotted some birds here.
On our way back, Vishnu and me forgot our bags in the Vineeth sir’s car and got into Preetham sir’s car to reach his apartment. We talked about our next goal, for the survey to reach 600 people. We are currently at 540. We had a short break at Preetham sir’s house and got into the car’s to leave for home. I got in Preetham sir’s car along with Natasha ma’am, Avyay, Sneha and Shashank sir to KSIT Junction. Avyay, Sneha and me told my mom what we did and then we all went home.
Nathan (13 years)
Apprentice @ Skills Beyond Education