Kukkarahalli Lake, the pristine patch of water and greenery in Mysore, in the heart of the University campus—a gift from the visionary maharajas—is in grave danger once again at the hands of the “development mafia”.
All the usual tricks of gentrification such as raising the lake bund, widening the walking path, creating parking space for vehicles, toilets, shelters and children’s park are at hand.
Worse, there is a devious plan to de-silt and de-weed the lake, thus endangering the hundreds of birds and fish species which have made the lake their home.
Needless to say, these plans without consultation or environmental expertise will cause irreversible damage to the water retention capacity of the lake, and convert it into a dry depression.
The renowned Mysore architect Dr B.S. Bhooshan has initiated a signature campaign on change.org protect the Lake from the latest attempts to ruin it.
Below is its full text.
By B.S. BHOOSHAN
It has been reported in the media that University of Mysore (UOM) together with the Department of Tourism is taking up certain development works on the Kukkarahalli lake and its immediate precincts.
As you know the lake has been drying up as rainwater inlets have been choked with housing and other developments in the catchment area and the sewage that was flowing into it also has been effectively diverted.
The development works as reported have been initiated without consulting the stake holders and it is a matter of concern as they will impact adversely on the ecology of the lake.
Apart from works such as raising of lake bund, widening walking path, creating vehicle parking space, toilets, shelters and children’s park, the de-silting & de-weeding of the lake in the current drought year will cause irreversible damage to the water retention capacity of the lake, and convert it into a dry depression.
The lake is visited by about 170 species of birds every year including painted storks and pelicans for nesting and the development works are likely to affect them badly.
It is important to note that developments that do not take care of the ecology will be akin to killing the very basis of the attraction, value and meaning of this important common property of Mysore city.
It is an urgent matter before wanton de-silting with noisy tractors excavators and trucks destroy the impervious clayey strata of the lake.
It is important to make the authorities stop it and consult the stakeholders and citizens, and for a proper assessment of impact to be made before anything of this nature is done.
Therefore, this matter is being brought to the attention of relavant Authorities (the deputy commissioner of Mysore and the vice-chancellor of Mysore University) with a sense of utmost urgency, with a request to:
(a) direct the immediate stoppage of the de-silting & de-weeding of Kukkarahalli lake at this critical juncture, in the interest of saving this precious natural heritage of Mysuru, and
(b) initiate a systematic discussion on conservation, preservation and protection of Kukkarahalli lake on the basis of the Plan, before the other “development” aspects reported in the media are undertaken.
(c) to take up measures to ensure that the lake does not go completely dry because the inlets have been reduced due to urban development in the catchment areas over the years and the sewage water that was filling it up has been fully diverted and to initiate action on alternate methods to use recycled water or by any other means be integrated in to any programme of conservation of the lake and be taken up on priority.
Sign the petition here: Save Kukkarahalli Lake