‘The mission has not been easy’
In conversation with Om Ahuja, Chief Executive Officer – Residential, Brigade Enterprises Limited – Brigade Group, who won award in the category of CSR Initiative from Realty Plus
What is the name of the CSR initiative?
Rejuvenation of Sitharampalya Lake in Whitefield, Bangalore
What is the objective of the initiative?
Create a Lush Green Oasis in Whitefield by restoring the Sitharampalya Lake in Whitefield to its pristine glory.
What are some of the salient features of this initiative?
Brigade Group joined hands with the NGO- Tropical Research Development Centre (TRDC) for rejuvenating the lake. Massive development work around the lake and the felling of trees resulted in receding water tables and the flight of birds to greener pastures. What was left of the Sitharampalyalake was a little pond, till about a year ago.
Brigade Group and TRDC followed a systematic path to restore the lake. The first step was removing several tons of debris in the lake and its surrounding areas, followed by pitching of bunds to help capture water and ensure it stays within the lake area and does not seep out. Next, was to put pipes or a crack dam in place to check if there is any seepage. The banks were then pitched with dry stone along the periphery to help arrest any seepage.
With the completion of this, work on clearing the two existing feeder channels and also the creation of a
third channel began. We also ensured that no seepage from the surrounding areas was directed into the lake. Civil work to remove this hazard was also undertaken.
What is the duration of this initiative?
It took over a year to complete this project.
What was the result achieved?
With this effort, 23.37 acres of the lake area has been restored. The following too, have been completed:
A paved walking and jogging track of approximately 400 metres around the lake bed, a children’s play area, precast cement benches at few places on the walking tracks for relaxation of elderly people, over 1,500 trees planted in the bund area to encourage flora and fauna to thrive, a separate area created within the lake premises to encourage visiting birds; several Herons and Indian Cormorants are already visiting the lake, Nu-algae introduced into the water to reduce nitrous activity and bring down the growth of weeds, approximately 5,000 of five different fish species in the water by the Department of Fisheries.
The mission has not been easy, but today we can stand back, look at the work and be satisfied that it is a job well done and for the people of the area, the lake serves as a great leisure and bird watching spot.