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Mysore lakes to be restored

The Mysore City Corporation has proposed to take up restoration of Devanur Tank at an estimated cost of Rs. 26.60 lakhs. This decision was taken by the Mysore City Corporation Council at its meeting on March 31.

The restoration project covers desilting, fencing, strengthening of the lake bund and creation of a park at the lake, located in N.R. Mohalla, to attract people and improve the environment and beauty of the place. The Asian Development Bank is providing financial assistance for the project.

This is one of the five lakes in and around the city to be restored under a comprehensive plan of the Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation of the Karnataka Government. The funds for the restoration of the lakes are being made available by the Asian Development Bank.

The Corporation has entrusted the development and restoration of the famous Kukkarahalli Lake to the Mysore University, the Karanji and Lingambudi lakes to the Mysore Zoo Authority and the Dalvoy tank to the Mysore Urban Development Authority. These famous five lakes, which were attracting migratory birds from far off destinations, are facing a slow death with growing urbanization and conversion of the rain-feeding lands around the tanks to residential and other urban agglomerations. With depleting rain water flow into these tanks on account of chocking of the feeder canals from Chamundi Hills and other upper regions of the city, the lake areas have shrunk in size. They are becoming dumping yards of urban waste. Instead of good rain water, dirty water from these residential and commercial areas is flowing into these lakes. There is an urgent need to clear the encroachments to allow rain water to naturally flow into these tanks, restore and develop these water bodies and ban any sort of pollution of the tank waters and the areas around it. Realizing the urgent need to restore these lakes, the Additional Chief Secretary of the Karnataka Government had convened a meeting of the concerned authorities in February last and directed them to restore and maintain the five lakes without further delay.

It may be of interest to note here that the famous Kukkarahalli Tank supplied drinking water to Mysore city, then a small town, before the Vanivilasa Water Supply Project was taken up over several years ago, during the reign of the Mysore Maharajas. It attracted leading literary and other personalities of Mysore in the mornings and in the evenings for their daily stroll. It has inspired by poets and writers like Dr.K.V.Puttappa (Kuvempu) and R.K.Lakshman, who were residents of the city. Even today the lake bund is used by early morning walkers and joggers, despite its deteriorating condition. The Lingambudi Tank was constructed during the period of the Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, in memory of his wife, while the other lakes are older than the Lingambudi.

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