By Mohan Kayaka
At a time when lakes are becoming a passé with land sharks usurping every bit of water bodies in the State, the nature-loving villagers have set a rare precedent by infusing a new lease of life to Sri Nanneshwara Devara Kere at Hinkal in the outskirts of the city.
The lake adjacent to Sri Nanneshwara Temple from which the water body has derived its name after the God (Devaru in Kannada), shines with a streak of sun rays in the dawn, turning into a favourite spot of morning walkers. It has come in handy in rejuvenating underground water table and also defunct borewells, aptly being the lifeline of Hinkal villagers, not just addressing the irrigation needs, but also the drinking water requirements.
The lake area spread on six acres and six guntas of land in Hootagalli City Municipal Council (CMC) limits boasts of green environs, attracting birds of different species. The credit goes to concerted efforts of Hinkal villagers, Gram Panchayat, Sri Devara Kere Development Committee and Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP), for the lake sporting a new look against what had turned into a decrepit condition three years back.
Under the project name ‘Nammuru Namma Kere,’ SKDRDP has spent Rs. 9.4 lakh to desilt the lake, along with a financial assistance of Rs. 5 lakh from the villagers, spending about total Rs. 20 lakh on restoring the condition of the lake.
The compound has been built around lake area with a grill fencing, to prevent intrusions, besides developing walking path and mud path around the lake. Over 350 saplings of different plant and tree species have been planted, creating a green cover. The soothing sound of chirping birds has been the added attraction, emerging as a walkers spot for those residing at Hinkal, Vijayanagar Second Stage and the surroundings.
When the works were launched, the engineers, who inspected the lake area, were sceptical about underground water table. Unfazed Hinkal villagers went ahead and drilled the lake bed for 12 feet deep to remove the silt, thus reopening the water holes. To prevent the possibilities of contamination of lake water, the UGD outlets earlier connecting the lake have been totally disconnected.
MUDA, MCC promise in vain: Ironically, both Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) and Mysuru City Corporation (MCC), which had earlier committed to allot Rs. 1 crore and Rs. 95 lakh respectively for the development of the lake, are yet to keep their words, rues Kiran, a member of Sri Devara Kere Development Committee.
Encroachment of Buffer Zone
There are also complaints of encroachment of a part of buffer zone around the lake. The 30 metres around the lake is considered as buffer zone, but the half of the buffer zone in the southern side of the lake has been encroached upon. When it was brought to the notice of MUDA, the Officers surveyed the area and identified the buffer zone and served a notice against encroaching the space. However, the encroachment continues, with even Raja Kaluve on the other side also being encroached upon with some educational institutions building the compound wall. While a shed is built on Raja Kaluve in the southern side of the lake.