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Biocon Foundation revives and inaugurates Hebbagodi Lake

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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

Biocon Foundation, the CSR arm of Biocon and Syngene International, recently inaugurated the newly revived Hebbagodi Lake in Anekal taluk to the community. It was inaugrated by B Shivanna, MLA, Anekal taluk; Lakshman, Chairman, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB); Wing Commander G.B. Athri (Retd) and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw. 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.

Biocon Foundation, with approvals from the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) and other government authorities, has revived the 35-acre Hebbagodi Lake, for 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 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 synergise efforts to obtain the necessary multi-government approvals and providing guidance throughout the complex process of lake rejuvenation.

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.

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