Sankey tank

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Sankey Tank
View of Sankey tank
LocationBangalore District, Karnataka
Coordinates13°01′N 77°34′E / 13.01°N 77.57°E / 13.01; 77.57
Lake typeFreshwater
Primary inflowsRainfall
Catchment area1.254 km (0.8 mi)
Basin countriesIndia
Surface area15 ha (37.1 acres)
Max. depth9.26 m (30.4 ft)
Shore length11.7 km (1.1 mi)
Surface elevation929.8 m (3,050.5 ft)
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.
Sankey Tank and vicinity

Sankey tank (Kannada:ಸ್ಯಾಂಕಿ ಕೆರೆ), a manmade lake or tank, is situated in the western part of Bangalore in the middle of the neighbourhoods of Malleshwaram, Vyalikaval and Sadashivanagar.[1] The lake covers an area of about 15 ha (37.1 acres). At its widest, the tank has a width of 800 m (2,624.7 ft).[2]

Sankey tank was constructed by Col. Richard Hieram Sankey (RE)[3] of the Madras Sappers Regiment, in 1882, to meet the water supply demands of Bangalore.[4] The tank was also known as Gandhadhakotikere, as the Government Sandalwood Depot used to be located near the lake.


Sankey reservoir was constructed in 1882. It was linked to the Miller's tank and Dharmambudhi tank and was built as a safeguard against water shortages, such as that experienced in the Great Famine of 1876–78. The quality of water was not very good and when Governor of Madras visited Bangalore on July 1888. A local wit commented, "The men who are thrown off their horses and killed on the spot at Bangalore are the only ones that are allowed by doctors not to have died from drinking bad water".[5]


The threats posed to the survival of the lake, which were also identified by the local people (morning joggers) using the lake, refer to:[6]

  • Contamination of water with sewage flowing in from seven points, which are connected to storm water drains
  • Choked drains with garbage and sewage
  • Leaking sewage pipes connected to a public toilet at a park
  • Decrease in the biological oxygen demand and high BOD content due to sewage
  • Threats to fish and plants. During the tests conducted in 2001 also the DO was reported to vary from 3.7 to 8.1, BOD between 2 and 8 and the pH varied from 7.1 to 7.5.[7]
  • Reduction number of ducks, fish and migratory birds due to polluted condition of the lake waters
Ducks coming out of their nest

Restoration actions[edit]

Sankey tank was developed into a park in early 2000
A recent view of the Sankey tank developed into a park

The tank was converted into a park by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) with funds provided by the Government of Karnataka. In addition, the following were also implemented.[6]

  • Removing encroachments
  • Alum purification treatment to absorb toxic elements and germs
  • Nursery towards the north
  • Paved walkways
  • Landscaped parks
  • Special tank for idol immersion during Ganesh Chaturthi festival
  • Restoration of swimming pool

Legal land encroachment tangle[edit]

In 2004, local builders’ proposal to construct a multistory building in the Sankey tank bed was challenged by petitioners in the Karnataka Lok Adalat (Peoples Court, an adjunct of the High Court). But the Court was informed by the Bangalore Mahanagar Palike (BMP) that it had not sanctioned any plan for the proposed building and that it would take immediate action to prevent any such steps by the developer taken without a no-objection certificate from the Ministry of Environment and Forests.[8]

The Lok Adalat ordered the Forest Department to repossess 0.52 ha (1.3 acres) of land belonging to it from the real estate developers who had set out to build an apartment block there. The Lake Development Authority also recommended that no construction or development activity should be allowed within a distance of 100 m (328.1 ft) from lakes in order to ensure that the water bodies in the city are not encroached and their conservation and protection are not stalled. The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) informed the court that the proposal of Abhishek Builders and Mantri Developers to build an 18–floor luxury apartment block near the Sankey Tank has been turned down as gross violations were noted under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act and the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sankey Tank, Bangalore".
  2. ^ "BMP, BWSSB team up to save lakes". The Hindu. 25 April 2002. Archived from the original on 4 May 2003.
  3. ^ Reference for full name as per his work available online in the book Lang, A. M. (ed). 1878. Professional Papers on Indian Engineering. 2 Vols. Rourkee. Internet Archive Link
  4. ^ Patrao, Michael (17 December 2013). "When parks were a lark". No. Bangalore. Deccan Herald. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  5. ^ Hasan, M Fazlul (1970) Bangalore through the centuries. Historical Publications. pp. 185-186
  6. ^ a b "Sankey tank get a new life". The Times of India. 10 November 2008. Retrieved 15 November 2022.
  7. ^ "Water Quality Monitoring of Lakes in and around Bangalore". Lake Development Authority. 2000–2003. Archived from the original on 26 February 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: date format (link)
  8. ^ "Lok Adalat seeks Sankey construction impact report". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 7 December 2008 – via Sights, sounds and smells from Bangalore.
  9. ^ "Lok Adalat asks Forest Dept. to take back Mantri land". The Hindu. 2004. Retrieved 9 December 2008 – via Sights, sounds and smells from Bangalore.

Further reading[edit]

  • Ramachandra, T. V.; Asulabha, K. S.; Sincy, V.; Vinay, S.; Bhat, Sudarshan P.; Aithal, Bharath H. (June 2015), Sankey Lake, ENVIS Technical Report 74, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore