Bengaluru: A bio-fence to protect lakes? New idea from BBMP


Low on cash, BBMP is looking at a bio-fence (made of trees and shrubs) to protect lakes

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Lakes Department has embarked on implementing a cost-effective and eco-friendly method to secure lake lands that are vulnerable to encroachments — it will put up bio fences to fix the boundaries of lake land.

Bio-fencings are lines of trees or shrubs planted on farm or field boundaries that provide protection against cattle and wildlife, enrich the soil, and provide shade.

“We are planning to plant saplings along the lake land. These saplings will serve as a bio-fence for the land. Thousands of well-grown saplings will be planted on the edges of lake land to prevent encroachments,’’ said BBMP Special Commissioner for Lakes, Estates, Forest, Horticulture and Education B Reddy Shankar Babu.

The BBMP has been maintaining two nurseries at Kempapura and Doddabasti in Mahadevapura Zone, Attur in Yelahanka Zone, Jnanabharathi in RR Nagar Zone, and Kudlu in Bommanahalli Zone. These nurseries have 6,80,000 8×12 saplings,

3,76,500 10×16 saplings and the Kempapura Nursery has 5,000 saplings (14×20).

The BBMP will give land, saplings and help transport saplings to the locations. We want citizens who are interested in afforesting our city to come forward to plant saplings and nurture them for at least two years

– Rajkumar Dugar, co-founder of Koti Vruksha Sainya

“We use the well-grown saplings to make the bio fence. Planting of saplings will be done under the guidance of BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta and BBMP Administrator Rakesh Singh. We will take environmentalists’ help to take the plantation drive forward,’’ said the BBMP Special Commissioner.

The BBMP plans to plant saplings at Gubbalala lake, Dodda Kallasandra, Puttenahalli, Yelenahalli, Konappana Agrahara, Basapura, Kammanahalli (Meenakshi Lake), Ibbalur, Sarakki, Subrayana, Kempath Halli, Kelagina Byrasandra, Devasandra, Jimkenahalli Nagareshwara Nagenhalli,

Mahadevapura-2, Garudacharpalya, Gangashetty, Hoodi Giddanakere, Gunjur Palya, Chikkabasti, Thalghattapura, Gowdana Palya, Mestri Palya, Bairasandra, Attur, and Veerasagara.

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The BBMP Lakes Department recently recovered around 40 acres of lake land by clearing them of encroachments but the plantation may not be done on the recovered land. The plan is to go for biodiversity planting after consulting with a biodiversity expert group on the buffer zone of the lakes. “We will take up planting of saplings on a massive scale on the lake land including on lake beds. In the process, we want to prevent further possible encroachments,’’ he said.

He said the BBMP Horticulture Department plans to discuss with the Deputy Commissioners of Bengaluru Urban and Rural to supply saplings in case they could take up planting saplings on the lakes and recently reclaimed lands. “N Manjunath Prasad responded promptly and posted three tahsildars to the BBMP Lakes Department,’’ he said.

Koti Vruksha Sainya founder Surabhi TV welcomed the bio-fence plan, calling it an excellent idea. “Bio fences are familiar in rural areas. It is a good idea to have a bio fence for lake land,’’ said Surabhi.

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Rajkumar Dugar, co-founder of Koti Vruksha Sainya, said the planting of saplings will be done with public participation. “The BBMP will give land, saplings and help transport saplings to the locations. We want citizens who are interested in afforesting our city to come forward to plant saplings and nurture them for at least two years. Even if every citizen of our city plants one sapling each and takes care of it, Bengaluru will get richer by 1.3 crore trees,’’ said Dugar.

V Ramprasad, co-founder of Friends of Lakes, stressed the need to plant native saplings on the lake land. “There will be no use planting timber saplings to make the bio fence. Timber mafia will become active when these plants grow into trees,’’ said Ramprasad.

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