Hebbal Lake set to be a Birding Hotspot
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Hebbal Lake set to be a Birding Hotspot

December 30, 2020
  • Infosys Foundation pumps Rs. 30 crore for Lake rejuvenation; gives it a new life
  • Once dying water body now has fresh air,  unpolluted and pleasant surroundings

Mysore/Mysuru: The vast Hebbal Lake has sprung back to life. The dead Lake has been rejuvenated in what is being described as the biggest and successful lake conservation project under the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model in the State.

Infosys Foundation joined hands with the Mysuru District Administration and other stakeholders and has conserved the 48-acre Lake after the Foundation pumped in a whopping Rs. 30 crore funding for restoration works under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The Lake has now been brought back to life and along with restoration, the Lake campus has been beautified, re-attracting various species of birds. And like Kukkarahalli Lake and Karanji Lake, this lake too is set to become a tourist hub and a birding hotspot of Mysuru. 

Figurines of elephants made from black stones installed near the steps on Gate-1 of the Lake.

The Lake now sports a walking and a jogging path, stone benches for walkers and the elderly to sit and admire the water body, shelters by the side, lighting of the walking path and a beautiful step way to the Lake with pillars on the sides. The entry to the Lake is, however, restricted through fencing. 

Figurines of two elephants made out of black stones have been erected near the steps on Gate-1 of the Lake. Public amenities such as toilets and a garden have come up on the Lake precincts. While planting of saplings, prominence has been given to native shrubs and plants and not to mere ornamental looks. 

The broad pathway with stone benches for visitors.

Fresh water is now being collected at the lake and a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) has been set up and harmless treated water is being pumped into the water body on a day-to-day basis. The memorandum to rejuvenate the Lake was signed in June 2016 by Sudha Murty, Chairperson of Infosys Foundation and the then Mysuru Deputy Commissioner C. Shikha. 

As per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the Foundation would maintain the Lake for five years. Thereafter, the Lake’s maintenance would be the onus of the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC). As part of the works, loads of silt has been removed and the Lake boundary has been fenced to prevent encroachments. 

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A major chunk of the funds was allotted to setting up of the Sewage Treatment Plant, which has come up on a three-acre plot that was allotted to the Foundation next to the Lake. Membrane technology from Germany was adopted for the eight million litres per day capacity STP. 

The STP treats all industrial waste, residential sewage and waste water that was earlier flowing into the Lake. The recycled sewage water now flows back into the Lake.

Harmless treated water being pumped into the Hebbal Lake on a day-to-day basis.

Before the restoration, demolished building debris, garbage, slaughter house waste and all sorts of garbage was dumped into the grasslands beside the Lake. The inflow storm water drains that brought rainwater were deliberately closed and they started bringing in the sewage discharges from the surrounding localities. Gradually, the Lake was getting suffocated.

The Lake was a home to more than 165 species of birds having many migratory birds visiting this place to spend the winter months from as far away as Northern Europe and Africa. This lively lake had started degenerating and decaying, with the industrial and construction activities surrounding the Lake area increasing.

Northern Pintails swimming happily in cool waters.
The Lake is also a home for Red Wattled Lapwings.

Now, since the water body is restored, bird species like Glossy Ibis, Northern Pintail, Northern Shovelers, River Tern, Crested Serpent Eagle, Baillon’s Crake, Little Grebes Larks, Doves, Pigeons, Herons, Storks, Eurasian Coots, Grey-headed Swamphens, Black-headed Ibis, Spotted Owlets Cormorants and Darters have been spotted inside the Lake. It is once again hosting many wintering species of Wagtails, Sandpipers, Snipes and Stints, which have all increased in their numbers many times.

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Hebbal Lake set to be a Birding Hotspot”

  1. Bhamy V Shenoy says:

    What a delight to see colorful pictures of rejuvenated Herbal Lake. It would be nice if we can find out the people responsible for convincing Infosys Foundation to restore the lake and such people should be recognized by Mysoreans. We know very well the capabilities of MCC in managing lakes or parks. Let us hope that some one will take the lead in convincing Infosys Foundation to maintain the lake for at least next ten years till there is better governance system implemented at MCC and it can look alert lakes and parks.

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