June 6: After a year of glory, the Sarakki Lake in Puttenhalli has returned to its devastated state again. And this time it is a field infested with weeds. The lake area comes under the Bommanhalli CMC and the maintenance and development is under the LDA. "But neither organisation has done anything about it and doesn't want to either" says Sundar Raj, General Secretary, Federation of J.P. Nagar Residents' Welfare Association. The LDA had invested Rs. 4 crore during the year 2003-2004 and the lake did get a facelift, however the surroundings were left undeveloped. And that seemed to be the end of it. The aftermath of last year's rains was nerve racking as the lake flooded the areas nearby. And all that CMC did was drain out the water from the flooded areas. Ever since, the lake has never known what maintenance meant. This year the CM has handed over the task of restoration of the lake to BDA. But nothing has come out of it as yet. The BDA, though willing to do the job, is awaiting the official confirmation from the CM "Acquisition of land around the lake is yet to be undertaken to widen the road. Until that is done, the restoration work cannot begin and we do not have orders to do so", said Deputy conservator of forest, BDA, Venkatesh.
Amidst all this, the residents of J.P Nagar do have a reason to rejoice as the 24th main road is being laid and work is in progress on the Kothnur Dhinne main road too. "We are contacting the BDA everyday but they say that they have not yet been given the official notice to start work. It is getting really difficult for us to move around the lake because it stinks. Something has to be done soon," said Sundar Raj. He felt that the lake area should at least have good drainage.The welfare association has also proposed to have a jogging park around the lake for the senior citizens and parks for children. But it looks like a distant dream. "This area lacks the basic civic amenities like sanitation which is frustrating", says Lakshmi, a 7th phase resident. "I hope the authorities act fast, restore the lake and construct the roads so that we wont have to go through a struggle everyday!" exclaims another resident Meghna.
It is going to be a long wait to see the lake alive again. Better late than never!