How one man’s vision mobilised communities to restore an ecosystem

“A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead

Widespread urbanisation has resulted in many of Bengaluru’s lakes either being encroached, turned into dumping yards, or simply vanishing. Today, the city faces a genuine threat of losing its wet cover, with just 17 out of its 51 lakes managing to survive.

This was the case with Kadathanmale Lake as well. Spread across 46 acres of land along Kadathanmale Village in North Bengaluru, this lake was dry, bleak, and lifeless for 25 years; its former brimming glory long forgotten. Until… one man decided to turn things around.

Pictured here is the barren Kadathanamale Lake

Anil Kashyap is a Zed Earth Villa community resident whose backyard overlooks the Kadathanmale Lake. Zed Earth is the architectural brainchild of visionary environmental economist Hariharan Chandrasekaran and is a sustainable, smart housing community.

Until 2019, the dried-up lake was used as a dumping ground for construction debris. Fearing that land may be encroached on, Anil reached out to the villagers and local Panchayat with his plans for the lake’s rejuvenation. Apprehension from the locals put a small bump in the journey, but once they could see the altruistic nature of the cause, they came around. Eventually, with the help of the local Panchayat, villagers, and the MLA, a fence was erected around the lake. This successfully put an end to the debris dumping.

Now awaiting the State Government’s help to move the rejuvenation project ahead was a futile task. This was when Anil decided to take full ownership and see the lake’s rejuvenation to the finish line. With the full force of volunteers, fellow residents, the villagers, and the local Panchayat, Anil was able to save the lake.

Kadathanamale Lake after restoration

The restoration was crowd funded, along with contributions from residents of the Zed Community. The local Panchayat graciously lent trucks, machinery, and JCBs free of cost. In the lake restoration process, attention was paid to not generating additional waste and restoring the ecosystem by removing invasive plant species and replacing them with native species.

The once barren lake is now teeming with life and is surrounded by over 3,500 trees. Recently, on World Environment Day, Evoscien India employees along with their families, residents from ZED Earth, the local Panchayath, and staff from the Taj Group of Hotels planted close to 500 saplings to mark the occasion. The saplings were sponsored by the Taj Group of Hotels, who also provided a crew of 60 gardeners and volunteers to assist with the planting.

Evoscien’s tree planting initiative around the Kadathanmale Lake was a fruitful initiative to bring many communities together for a worthy cause. It was also a great opportunity to educate the children about the importance of water conservation and reforestation effort.

It is truly amazing what we can do when united. This one lake restoration, spearheaded by Anil Kashyap is already snowballing into something bigger. Aside from the increased biodiversity and green cover in the area, residents of Zed Earth no longer need to rely on water tankers for their supply, saving around ₹ 2 lakh every year. Farmers from the Kadathanamale are also reaping the benefits. The increase in groundwater levels has boosted their confidence and encouraged them to invest in borewells to irrigate their farms. In the words of Anil Kashyap, “It looks daunting in the beginning but once you take the first step, it is very doable” and he couldn’t be more right.

    Team Evoscien

    We are a team of eco-conscious writers dedicated to exploring the latest innovations in sustainability and eco-friendliness. Through our passion for creating a better future for our planet, we aim to share informative and inspiring content that encourages more sustainable lifestyles and promotes eco-friendly practices.

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