World Bank officials visit Kalkere, Rampura lakes

BENGALURU: A team of officials from the World Bank recently visited Kalkere and Rampura Lakes in Mahadevapura along with BBMP Lake Department officials and expressed interest in lake improvement projects. Palike officials now expect a funding of around Rs 200 crore to develop 40 undeveloped water bodies across the city.

The World Bank was visiting the ongoing K-100 waterway project, which is the development of a 12-km Rajakaluve from Shantala Silk Junction at Majestic to Bellandur, connecting Koramangala-Challaghatta Valley to the waterfront for public recreation.

BBMP lake division officials said World Bank officials, including Senior Water and Sanitation Specialist Mariappa Kullappa, visited the two lakes and also expressed interest in funding the development of other water bodies in the city.

“The BBMP is already working on the K-100 waterway project and World Bank officials were happy with the lake rejuvenation work at Kalkere Lake. They were already interested in funding Rajakaluve development and now we expect the BBMP’s lake division too to get at least Rs 200 crore,” a source said.

The BBMP’s Stormwater Drain Department had sought funds, and the World Bank has reportedly agreed to extend Rs 3,000 crore as loan, which would be split between BBMP and Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) for flood mitigation. Rs 200 crore will be diverted to the lake division and 40 undeveloped lakes would be rejuvenated, the BBMP officials said, adding that the network of lakes and stormwater drain can help mitigate flood effects.

Chief Engineer, Lake Division, Vijaykumar Haridas, said that if water bodies are improved, water scarcity during summer can be addressed. “For example, the Madiwala Lake, which spreads over 250 acres, was last rejuvenated about 25 years ago and there is a lot of silt. To desilt the lake, it may cost about Rs 30-40 crore. If this is done, flooding in surrounding areas like Bommanahalli can be controlled and the groundwater table will also increase.”

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