Campaign to Save Mysore's / Mysuru's Lakes sign now

The Hindu Wednesday, Jul 23, 2008

The Kukkarahalli Lake which, along with the Chamundi Hills and Karanji Lake, is reckoned to be nature's gift to the city. Lake management and an ecological approach to its conservation are more important than funding.

In government parlance, the concept of "development" - be it the Chamundi Hills or a lake - has till now entailed just construction of an edifice, making new pathways by destroying the existing vegetation, creating "facilities" for the people, which invariably means destroying the surrounding green cover.

This was evident in the recent pre-budget meeting for the development of Mysore, when speaker after speaker " all politicians " stressed the need for having a -green belt- around Mysore.

But, in the same breath, they went on to add that the Chamundi Hills be "developed" and a ropeway project be initiated to get there, while another sought a botanical garden in Mysore on the lines of the Lal Bagh in Bangalore.
Nothing's being done/said for the "protection" of the Chamundi Hills and the lakes of Mysore.

A natural forest like the Chamundi Hills and the Kukkarahalli Lake are sacrificed at the altar of "development" and destroyed, so that projects, which do no good for society, and are a drain on the State's resources, are promoted.

The Hindu Monday, Jun 02, 2008

Karanji Lake/Kere has India's biggest "walk-through aviary".

Karanji lake environs is a perfect place for birds to roost, nestle and breed.

Deccan Herald Friday, May 02, 2008

Old Mysore City had its own intrinsic energy with lakes and gardens spread across and around the city and the vast green zones earmarked as gardens.

Mysore can retain its original beauty and peace through proper town planning, traffic flow, community development, ecological balance, increase of greenery, maintaining lakes in order.

The Hindu Wednesday, March 22, 2006

On Wednesday March 22, 2006 giant fish were found floating dead in the Kukkarahalli lake, and the water body continues to maintain a high level of turbidity.

Algae formation continues unabated and untreated sewage continues to flow into the lake undoing all the beautification work carried five/05 years ago (in 2003) with funding from the Asian Development Bank.

Unless sewage is diverted and encroachments along the feeder channel removed there can be no future for the lakes.

While the administration of Kukkarahalli Lake is vested with the University of Mysore, the sewage diversion comes under the civic bodies Mysore City Corporation (MCC) and Mysore Urban Development Authority.

The Hindu Monday, Jan 30, 2006

Following years of drought and lack of sufficient quantity of fish in the lakes in and around Mysore, the pelican numbers dwindled between 1997 and 2003.

Both the lakes Kukkarahalli Lake and Karanji Lake had witnessed a flurry of activity following good rainfall in 2005.

However, the birds had not arrived in Lingambudhi Lake in the city between 2004-2006.

The availability of fish in abundance at the revived Karanji Lake in 2006 provided an ideal nesting ground for the pelicans.

The lake has witnessed the arrival of a good number of birds and the emergence of pelican colonies.

However, the same is untrue with Kukkarahalli Lake.

The Hindu Friday, Apr 29, 2005

The growing popularity of Kukkarahalli Lake among morning walkers and the increase in human-induced disturbance has affected the bird population of the lake whose numbers has seen a steep decline w.e.f. 2005.

The picturesque Mysore lakes provide the much-needed lung-space to the city.

The Kukkarahalli Lake is spread over 58 hectares with a shoreline of roughly five kilometres and harboured nearly 200 species of birds.

It was common to find at least 10,000 to 15,000 of them at any given point of time during winter when a large number of migratory birds used to come and roost in the lake.

But it is no longer the case and it is difficult to count even 2,000 birds at any given point of time.

The construction of a new walkway or bund (despite cautioning by the NGOs) along the shore of the water body (Kukkarahalli) that hugs the shoreline like a ribbon and cuts across from the western bank to the eastern portion to facilitate the public to take a walk has disturbed the fragile ecosystem / habitat and the migratory birds have depleted in numbers as they've mass migrated to other water bodies.

The geophysical composition of the lakeshore was badly damaged and the depth of the lakebed was altered.

As a result, there are no more wading birds, which prefer shallow depth and these birds have migrated to other water bodies.

There's been a steady drop in the bird population and it is unlikely that the birds will return as the fragile habitat that supports such species has been disturbed during conservation work.

In the meantime, the number of people who visit the Kukkarahalli Lake has increased.

31 species of birds used to breed in the lake but they have not been found since the lake became popular among the public.

The only birds which are breeding are those in the bird islands which are relatively isolated and free from human presence.

But the breeding pattern has been disturbed and many of these birds have not been observed during the census in 2005.

Of the nearly 180 birds recorded during a survey conducted in 2001, it is reckoned that there are only 103 species in the lake but their number is declining w.e.f. 2005.

The Hindu Thursday, Mar 10, 2005

Three lakes in Mysore figure in the list of important wetlands of the State and have been classified under Important Bird Area Network (IBAN) as priority site for conservation by Birdlife International of U.K.

Spread over 100 countries, Birdlife International has included Kukkarahalli, Karanji and Lingambudhi lakes in Mysore in the list of 38 important conservation sites in the State.

It may be a matter of pride for Mysore that there are three major wetlands in the heart of the city harbouring biodiversity and a rich variety of birds attracting international attention.

But no wetland in Mysore/India is free from threats of human interference.

While international agencies are looking at conservation of wetlands/lakes to save birds, the scenario in India / Mysore presents a gloomy picture calling for urgent remedial action.

At Kukkarahalli Kere/Lake a preliminary winter waterfowl census shows that of the 66 species of birds observed in 2004, only 28 were listed in 2005 due to human presence.

The Lingambudhi Lake harbours over 200 species of birds during monsoon but is facing threats because of encroachment and human interference calling for remedial action.

The Hindu Sunday, Jun 06, 2004

The Karanji Kere/Lake island was bereft of vegetation or butterflies till Jun 2004 as the inflow of sewage from Siddharthanagar / Siddarthanagar and polluted water from the Mysore Milk Dairy had rendered the lake unfit for any form of aquatic life.

The Karanji Lake, which is located adjoining the Mysore zoo, is spread across 60 acres while the foreshore is spread across 80 acres.

The lake is teeming with birds including painted storks and grey pelicans.

Karanji Kere/Lake was revived with a funding of Rs. 91 lakh from the Asian Development Bank.

The Hindu Thursday, May 08, 2003

The Dalvoy lake, with an area of 250 acres, is one of the biggest water bodies in the city.

There are plans to reserve only 10\% of the area for fisheries, and the rest for tourism and recreation.

It is said that the centre would have aqua sports facilities among others.

The Times of India 21 Jan 2003

After a prolonged absence, birds were back at the Karanji lake in 2003.

These birds had avoided this Karanji Kere/Lake till 2003 as the water in the lake was contaminated by sewage let off from the surrounding areas and also because of rapid urbanisation around the lake.

The Hindu Saturday, Feb 02, 2002

The importance of wetlands and their relevance had been lost on the urban population where it had been grossly mismanaged and reduced to bodies that receive industrial waste and domestic sewage.

The destruction of the water bodies or the wetlands breaks the natural cycle entailing groundwater recharge, flood control, recycling of nutrients, pollution control, and housing endangered species.

A series of disasters had struck the water bodies in Mysore which led to death of birds in Lingambudhi Lake, fish kill in Yennehole and Kukkarahalli in 2001/2002.

Why can't the Kukkarahalli Kere/Lake, Karanji Kere/Lake, Lingambudhi Lake and the Chamundi Hills be protected instead of being developed?

More than Rs. 90 lakhs each was spent on reviving the Kukkarahalli Lake and Karanji Lake. Why was it not used to clear encroachments and divert sewage?

The following recommendations / report were/was given/submitted to the Hon'ble Karnataka High Court on Monday, June 23, 2008 by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests or PCCF, Karnataka Forest Department w.r.t. to undeveloped Bangalore's / Bengaluru's lakes is applicable to Mysore lakes too.

Nature / Bird Preserves

Lakes that have not yet been developed "are well worth declaring as nature or bird preserves".

These bird preserves will be a tourist attraction and will serve as "a shining example of ecologically-wise integration of civic interest and biodiversity," the report adds.

'Habitat destroyed'

During development of a lake dredged material piles up on the lake margin to extend the land margin, thereby damaging the shoreline vegetation which is critical wildlife habitat for water birds.

'No food courts'

Referring to food courts, boating and other recreational facilities, the report recommends / said that "none of these commercial and tourism activities (should) be envisaged in the 'development' plans".

While "commercial activity should be avoided completely", the department has recommended "a modest entry fee" to make up the cost of maintenance.

"No further structures, buildings and lighting need be contemplated, apart from minimal facilities at the entrance for the gate, regulatory entry and exit, watchman's shed, plant nursery and security," says the report.

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Diane LesterBy:
City LifeIn:
Petition target:
The Hon'ble Supreme Court of India (SC), President, Prime Minister (PM), Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Karnataka High Court (HC), Chief Minister of Karnataka (CM), Chief Secretary (CS), Karnataka Forest Department, PCCF, LDA and ADB


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