Bengaluru: The lake messiah of Mandya, Kamegowda has turned 83. However, his aim now is to build four more tanks. He has, so far, built 14 tanks all by himself.

Kamegowda has devoted his life to saving water and making the region green during all seasons.

He has so far built 14 tanks in four decades. His aim is to add four more tanks to his credit.

Hailed as a true ecologist Kamegowda does not seek the help of others in building these manmade lakes. He has built most of the tanks by cutting rocky land.

Kamegowda was also honoured with Rajyotsava award, one of the top awards of Karnataka, last year. In 40 years, Kamegowda has cut rocks, built 14 lakes and provided water for Malavalli taluk and surrounding regions.

These tanks have never gone dry, even during summer.

Kamegowda took up this work when there was no water to drink for livestock especially during summer in the district. Upon noticing the plight of animals during the season, he made up his mind to build tanks and conserve water.

When a report on Kamegowda and his works was published recently, he began receiving awards and money, which he has been using to build more tanks.

He lives in a makeshift house at a hamlet called Dasanadoddi, but spends at least 12 hours a day at Kundibetta, where he has dug land to build tanks.

Kamegowda's eyes have developed cataract and he wants to undergo an operation as soon as possible, so he can resume building tanks.

Kamegowda says that he has little money, which is not enough to build four tanks, and has said that he would be happy if someone sponsors the construction of these tanks.

Speaking about the crisis of water in Bengaluru, Kamegowda opines that small tanks, percolation pits should increase the water table and could benefit the city greatly.