An Initiative by Namma Bengaluru Foundation, Citizens, Experts and Activists’ to Save Bellandur, Bengaluru’s largest waterbody
Bengaluru is facing a serious crisis – a crisis that’s transforming it to being an unlivable city, posing challenges of health, mobility and environment to its residents. Bengaluru, being the Silicon Valley of the East, has seen unprecedented growth over the last 4 decades. This, however, has not been matched with adequate planning and creation of capacities in vital public services and amenities required for sustainable living in the city, such as end to end Water Management, Waste Management, Health, Energy, Mobility and Habitation for Urban Poor. The killing of Bellandur Lake is an example of the rampant abuse of Namma Bengaluru. The future of our city lies in the government, citizens and civic society coming together to confront these real challenges to our city and reverse the trend of apathy, corruption and unplanned growth for the well-being of our future generations. This intensive and laborious collaborative effort of citizens, experts, elected representatives and officials anchored by Namma Bengaluru Foundation is the basis of #SaveBellandur Action Plan. We urge each of you to engage with us in this endeavor and stop not till we rejuvenate and revive Bellandurkere back to its pristine glory. This document could be the basis for the Government of Karnataka and Government of India to plan their investments to enhance water security and restore the ecological balance, thereby becoming a beacon for sustainable development of our cities.
Sridhar Pabbisetty Chief Executive Officer Namma Bengaluru Foundation www.namma-bengaluru.org
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The killing of Bellandur Lake is a sad representation of the rampant neglect and exploitation that is destroying our city, making it unlivable and pushing it to a stage of multiple crisis, like Public health and water - signs of which are already evident. Many decades of neglecting a fundamental issue of Waste treatment capacities for a growing city has rendered this once life nurturing lake into a public health and environmental catastrophe. The lake being the largest water body has a special place in Bengaluru, once also known as ‘Lake City’ with a chain of natural and manmade lake systems that supported a natural drainage system. For several decades, citizens depended on this network of waterbodies for their daily needs. Unplanned growth of the city without proper planning has brought us into this precarious situation. Huge volumes of untreated sewage flowing into the lake over a long period, inadequate treatment capacity and encroachment by developers are causes for this crisis and is being repeated elsewhere in many other lakes in the city. If we are to fix this problem, this needs to be undone and remedial measures and investments put in place in a systematic way. Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) engaged with elected representatives and officials and discovered the lack of shared vision and holistic understanding of the problem as also the lacking solutions approach. Hence, NBF worked with the locals, experts and activists over the past few months over intense deliberations and following an evidence based approach to evolve a total solutions methodology to #SaveBellandur Lake and rejuvenate it to its once pristine glory. The debate and discourse in Bengaluru tends to be only around transportation and mobility. While that is an important issue, the environmental and public health damages caused by lack of investments in Waste Management is more permanent and impacts both public health and environment. The lack of investments by successive governments in this area is obvious today, as untreated sewage is dumped into what were once vibrant lakes. The people and media of Bengaluru must wake up to these equally immediate challenges, other than transportation and mobility issues. The #SaveBellandur Action Plan focuses on rejuvenating Bellandur Lake with practical and viable actions and in