Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, December 2nd, 2018
Biocon Foundation, the CSR arm of Biocon Ltd. and Syngene International Ltd., dedicated the newly revived Hebbagodi Lake in Anekal taluk to the community, today. Besides the bio-rejuvenated lake, a Children’s Park and a safe drinking water facility using Reverse Osmosis (RO) technology were also opened for the public.
The above facilities were inaugurated by Shri B Shivanna, MLA, Anekal taluk; Shri Lakshman, Chairman, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB); Wing Commander G.B. Athri (Retd) and Ms Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, today.
As a part of its efforts to ensure environmental sustainability, Biocon Foundation, with approvals from the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) and other government authorities, has brought back to life the dying 35-acre Hebbagodi Lake, leading to a significant improvement in the water quality and the return of flora and fauna. A public space has been created around the lake in the form of a children’s park and walkways for recreational activities. The safe drinking water RO facility will cater to the needs of the neighbouring community.
Biocon Foundation initiated the project under the inspirational leadership and guidance of Wg Cdr G.B.Athri (Retd) in mid-2016, and has successfully completed the project. . Wg Cdr G.B. Athri (Retd) played a significant role in the lake revival project by helping Biocon Foundation synergize efforts to obtain the necessary multi-government approvals and providing guidance throughout the complex process of lake rejuvenation.
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Managing Trustee of Biocon Foundation, said, “I want to congratulate each and everyone involved in successfully implementing the ambitious task of reviving the Hebbagodi Lake. Biocon Foundation is committed to address the pressing social and environmental issues in Karnataka with strong community engagement and innovative solutions. The ‘proof of concept’ established at Hebbagodi Lake has opened the path for Biocon Foundation to initiate other lake rejuvenation projects and will contribute towards reviving other Bengaluru lakes.”
Wing Commander G.B. Athri (Retd), said, “Water is the heart and soul of the lake. Without removing a drop of water from Hebbagodi lake (which is the usual practice), we have successfully rejuvenated the lake. The water quality has attained pristine glory with the help of natural elements. The most important aspect of Hebbagodi lake rejuvenation process is that time-tested natural processes have been put into place.”
Pratima Rao, Mission Director of Biocon Foundation, said, “Biocon Foundation constantly engages with the neighbouring communities to undertake various initiatives aimed at environmental management and ecological conservation. With the help of key stakeholders, such as Wing Commander Athri, government officials and local authorities, we successfully restored the ecosystem of the Hebbagodi Lake in a time-bound, cost-effective manner. I believe this initiative will spur other corporates to come forward in implementing innovative solutions that pave the way for a better Bengaluru.”
Lourd Raj Joseph, Vice-President and Head, Central Engineering & EHS, Biocon, added, “Given the importance of preserving Bengaluru’s natural lakes, we undertook the Herculean task of the rejuvenation of the Hebbagodi Lake through fresh thinking, collective effort and innovative solutions. A multipronged strategy to use bioremediation, floating islands and aerators has yielded spectacular results. Measures were also taken to protect the lake by engaging with local authorities and the community to monitor and preserve the area. A children’s park, with gardens and play equipment, has completed the transformation of the area into a clean, green space.”
Multi-Pronged, Multi-Stage Revival Plan Implemented
Biocon Foundation conducted a feasibility study in 2016 to identify the ideal remediation technique for the revival of Hebbagodi Lake. The Detailed Project Report based on the study was approved by the KLCDA before project commencement.
The lake, which was largely covered by weeds and garbage, was dredged to remove garbage, invasive weeds and sludge accumulated over the years. The uprooted weeds were composted for use in green cover expansion around the lake. A number of bar screens were installed at the inlets to prevent fresh garbage from entering the lake. Closed underground conduits were laid and a culvert was built to prevent overflowing of sewage, which also led to unbearable stench around the area.
A natural and eco-friendly bioremediation process was implemented, which involved dosing the lake with a blend of enzymes and microorganisms to rapidly digest organic pollutants. An in-house bioreactor was commissioned by Biocon Foundation to produce ~3,000 litres of bio-enzyme every day. Multiple energy efficient cascading aerators and submersible mixers were installed in the lake to enhance the level of dissolved oxygen in the water. Floating wetlands were also deployed for continuous natural cleaning process.
The daily dosing of enzymes has helped improve the quality of the water with pH value maintained between 6.5 and 8.5. The Dissolved Oxygen (DO) levels have improved from zero to 2.8 mg/L.
The subject-matter expertise and commitment of technical teams from Biocon enabled successful project implementation.
Biocon Foundation’s innovation of creating artificial floating islands has secured a place in Limca Book of World Records for being the ‘Largest Area of Artificial Floating Wetlands Created in a Lake in India’.
A new embankment with a fence has been built to preserve the lake area and augment the lake’s water holding capacity. The area has been beautified further with landscaping, a children’s park, and LED streetlights have been installed to make the area safe at night. Furthermore, the Foundation has also constructed a waste segregation yard for effective solid waste management and to prevent this waste landing up in the lake.
About Hebbagodi Lake
Located off Hosur Road, near Electronics City in southeast Bengaluru, the Hebbagodi Lake is spread over 35 acres and has a perimeter of over 2 km. There are five inlets with sewage inflow and two storm water inlets joining the lake. The cascading water source has upstream catchments from Shikaripalya, Tirupalya and Veersandra Lakes and excess water flows downstream into Kammasandra Lake. Biocon Foundation intervened in August 2016 to replenish and resuscitate the water body that was on its ‘deathbed’ due to the flow of untreated sewage and dumping of solid waste and debris in the lake.
About Biocon Foundation:
Biocon Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of Biocon and Syngene International, is working to empower marginalized communities since 2005. Biocon Foundation partners with the society to promote social and economic inclusion. It has thus made significant investments in enhancing access to quality healthcare, education and civic infrastructure along with environmental sustainability projects. Combined with field initiatives, these programs create a momentum to elevate the marginalized sections of the society. Over the years, Biocon Foundation has built a strong reputation for the quality of its programs and their impact in addressing the social, humanitarian and environmental challenges facing India. To make a more meaningful impact, the Foundation regularly partners with government agencies and like-minded organizations for program delivery. Besides addressing critical national and state level challenges in primary healthcare, education and rural development, the Foundation is also augmenting environmental sustainability through the lake revival mission in Bengaluru. Visit: http://www.bioconfoundation.org