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Present status of Gottigere Tank : Indicator of Decision maker’s apathy

Ramachandra, TV and Sudhira, HS (2007) Present status of Gottigere Tank : Indicator of Decision maker’s apathy. In: Energy and Wetlands Research Group .

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Gottigere lake with a water spread area of about 14.98 ha is located in the Bellandur Lake catchment of the South Pennar River basin. In recent years, this lake catchment has been subjected to environmental stress mainly due to the rampant unplanned developmental activities in the catchment. The functional ability of the ecosystem is impaired due to structural changes in the ecosystem. This is evident from poor water quality, breeding of disease vectors, contamination of groundwater in the catchment, frequent flooding in the catchment due to topography alteration, decline in groundwater table, erosion in lake bed, etc. The development plans of the region (current as well as the proposed) ignore the integrated planning approaches considering all components of the ecosystem. Serious threats to the sustainability of the region due to lack of holistic approaches in aquatic resources management are land use changes (removal of vegetation cover, etc.), point and non-point sources of pollution impairing water quality, dumping of solid waste (building waste, etc.). Conservation of lake ecosystem is possible only when the physical and chemical integrity of its catchment is maintained. Alteration in the catchment either due to land use changes (leading to paved surface area from vegetation cover), alteration in topography, construction of roads in the immediate vicinity are detrimental to water yield in the catchment and hence, the sustenance of the lake. Open spaces in the form of lakes and parks aid as kidney and lung in an urban ecosystem, which maintain the health of the people residing in the locality. Identification of core buffer zones and conservation of buffer zones (500 to 1000 m from shore) is to be taken up on priority for conservation and sustainable management of Bangalore lakes. Bangalore is located over a ridge delineating four watersheds, viz. Hebbal, Koramangala, Challaghatta and Vrishabhavathi. Lakes and tanks are an integral part of natural drainage and help in retaining water during rainfall, which otherwise get drained off as flash floods. Each lake harvests rainwater from its catchment and surplus flows downstream spilling into the next lake in the chain. The topography of Bangalore has uniquely supported the creation of a large number of lakes. These lakes form chains, being a series of impoundments across streams. This emphasises the interconnectivity among Bangalore lakes, which has to be retained to prevent Bangalore from flooding or from water scarcity. The main source of replenishment of groundwater is the rainfall. The slope of the terrain allows most of the rainwater to flow as run-off. With the steep gradients available in the major valleys of Bangalore, the rainwater will flow out of the city within four to five hours. Only a small fraction of the rainwater infiltrates into the soil. The infiltration of water into the subsoil has declined with more and more buildings and paved road being constructed in the city. Thus the natural drainage of Bangalore is governed by flows from the central ridge to all lower contours and is connected with various tanks and ponds. There are no major rivers flowing in Bangalore and there is an urgent need to sustain these vital ecosystems through proper conservation and management measures. The proposed peripheral ring road connecting Hosur Road (NH 7) and Mysore Road (SH 17) at Gottigere lake falls within the buffer zone of the lake. This would alter the catchment integrity and hence water yield affecting flora, fauna and local people, and ultimately lead to the disappearance of Gottigere lake. Developmental activities in lake catchments, which has altered lake’s ecological integrity is in violation of the Indian Fisheries Act – 1857, the Indian Forest Act – 1927, Wildlife (Protection) Act – 1972, Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act – 1974, Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act – 1977, Forest (Conservation Act) – 1980, Environmental (Protection) Act – 1986, Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act – 1991 and National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and Development – 1992. Considering 65% decline of waterbodies in Bangalore (during last three decades), decision makers should immediately take preventive measures to ensure that lake ecosystems are not affected. This report discusses the impacts due to the proposed infrastructure developmental activities in the vicinity of Gottigere tank.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Energy and Wetlands Research Group
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2011 09:52
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2011 09:52
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/41225

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