Foul smell as Kengeri lake rots

Bangalore City Environment Health

The lake has been moved between multiple city departments, with no progress on development of parks or cleaning. The last time work was done to clean or develop the lake was by the forest department in 2005.

Bangalore: Opposite the Kengeri bus stop on Mysore road sits what remains of Kengeri Lake or Doddakere, covered in plants, surrounded by garbage, with a foul odor to greet visitors. The lake once covered over 40 acres, with boats for rent and food stalls at the shores. The lake is now just over 20 acres, overgrown foliage surrounds it, its water peeking out from the gaps in the autotrophs, barely visible. What was once a sprawling body of water, now resembles a meadow, lush green where there should be water.

“When the lake first came under the control of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), we hoped they would build a park around the lake. But the condition of the lake only got worse since. We used to have boating facilities, but even that stopped more than ten years ago” said K.C. Suresh, who owns a provision store near the lake.

“We got control of the lake nine months ago and are yet to do any work on it. The BMRCL, who were in charge of the lake before us (since 2012) did not do any cleaning or development work either” said Ms. Nitya, an assistant executive engineer at the BBMP.

The lake came under the control of the BDA in 2006, was then handed over to the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) in 2012 who then handed the lake over to the BBMP in 2020, following three failed tenders to clean up the lake.

“Many people use to come to walk along the lake and then come here to eat, but as the lake got dirtier and began to stink, people stopped coming and business has been on a steady decline for more than the last ten years”, remarked Venkatesh who runs an idli stall on the lake’s shore.

“I have seen the lake shrink by half in my lifetime, I really hope we do all we can to save what is left” remarked Anand, a longtime resident of Kengeri.

“The residents of Kengeri have filed multiple petitions asking their corporator and MLA to clean up the lake and build a park around it, but all to deaf ears.” Remarked K.C. Suresh.