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Paying the price for neglect of lakes

Special Correspondent

Research has found that the city's system of lakes has almost been done away with Research finds that the system of lakes has almost been done away with


  • There were over 400 lakes and tanks in and around Bangalore
  • By the early 1980s, the number came down to 262
  • Today, only 64 are "alive" as water bodies

    Bangalore: The floods in many areas in Bangalore since last weekend have much to do with the neglect of one part of our heritage: the chain of lakes and tanks that once dotted the city, says Arun Prasad, research head of "Discover Bangalore", an organisation studying the city's monuments and historical heritage.

    "If rain continues for three or four days, the situation in Bangalore may become worse than that of Mumbai or New Orleans. What went wrongremains unanswered,'' he says. The chaos, pollution and congestion reflect the failure of urban planning and city administration, most of civil society agrees. Discover Bangalore's research has found that the city's system of lakes has almost been done away with.

    Historical records show there were over 400 lakes and tanks in and around Bangalore, three decades ago. By the early 1980s, the number got reduced to 262. Today, only 64 survive and are "alive" as water bodies. Some lakebeds were encroached upon, some were auctioned off as land, and some others were filled for forming layouts. Because of this, there are floods during the rainy season.

    "There is a lot to learn from our former rulers who dedicated their lives to betterment of the city,'' Mr. Prasad says. Right from Kempegowda, rulers paid attention to town planning, which included tanks that were inter-linked.

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