Podcast: Why citizen groups alone can’t save Bengaluru’s dying lakes


Over the past few decades, Bengaluru has witnessed its lakes turn intodumping grounds. In some cases like that of Puttenehalli lake, neighbourhood groups have successfully worked with government agencies to revive lakes. But the work comes with challenges too, says Nupur, a member of Puttenahalli Lake Neighbourhood Improvement Trust (PNLIT). She explains why many other neighbourhood groups are unable to sustain their work on reviving and maintaining lakes over the long term.

We also hear from Vishwanath Srikantaiah, an urban planner and civil engineer, who has worked on reviving Jakkur lake.

But why should we care so much about lakes? Harini Nagendra, professor of sustainability at Azim Premji University, explains the history of Bengaluru’s lakes and why they are important despite not being our primary water sources anymore.

Find the full podcast series ‘Lessons from Bengaluru’ here.

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About Grace Madigan 12 Articles
Grace Madigan was an intern from Seattle, Washington. You can follow her @grace_madigan19.


  1. It is a herculean task for citizens to revive and maintain lakes. Actually, the effort of citizens can be supplementary, not main, but things have been turned on their head in Bengaluru.Awareness about role of lakes/ tanks is lacking and some parties are interested in filling up lake beds and put up buildings and it is a well meshed system.

  2. Sir, we have been maintaining B.Narayanapura lake without much help from any govt agencies. Either BBMP or lake development authority are care takers. Perimeter of the lake is around 800Mtrs. it used to be hub of wild plants/bushes and plastics. As lake porus from many sides so people use as dustbin and also consume drinks in the night and litter around it. Now we have planted 600 Trees and we have been adding more trees every year. Today almost free from wild bushes and plants.With help of corporator we got water connection this year, otherwise we used lift water from the lake. Today every week people drop around plastic pieces, we lift them and keep it clean. with help of United lever limited we also installed 20 sitting benches also. This lake just maintained by 8-10 individuals. we are successful till today.

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