Red Bull Flugtag at Sankey Tank amidst controversy

Today, 28th September 2014, Bangalore is playing host to the first ever Red Bull Flugtag in India.

Red Bull Flugtag (Flugtag=flight day) is an event organized by Red Bull in which competitors attempt to fly home-made, size- and weight-limited, human-powered flying machines (max 10m/30 ft, 150 kg/330 lbs). The flying machines are usually launched off a pier about 30 feet (9.1 m) high into the sea (or suitably sized reservoir of water). Most competitors enter for the entertainment value, and the flying machines rarely fly at all. The first Red Bull Flugtag competition was held in 1991 in Vienna, Austria. It was such a success that it has been held every year since and in over 35 cities all over the world. (Source: Wikipedia)

To know more about what can be expected in Bangalore, read the report in yesterday’s Hindu newspaper here. Union ministers Sri Sadanand Gowda and Sri Ananth Kumar are expected to attend the event. 

In a vast country like India, it is amazing that Red Bull identified the 37 acre Sankey Tank, one of the last surviving lakes of the original Bangalore city for this. Sankey Tank has received a fair amount of attention from the local administration in local years, after being saved from the clutches of builders in 2004. A park was developed around it, and the waterbody was cleaned up. A special kalyani for Ganesha immersion was built, to save the main water body from pollution. The lake has a boating facility, and a central island with a mini-forest. There is also a swimming pool adjacent to the lake. With its rich flora and abundant supply of fish, the lake is home to several species of birds and other forms of life through the year. During the winter months, many migratory birds, escaping the harsh cold of north Asia and Europe, can be spotted here.    

A view of Sankey Tank (Pic: Wikimedia Commons, Ramakrishna Reddy)

Lake activists are worried that this Flugtag event will disturb the lake’s eco-system. Also, the hosting of such a commercial event in a lake is in violation of the high court orders following the Justice Patil Report. Sources close to the BBMP / Forest Department, the custodians of the lake, have indicated that Red Bull has paid money to BBMP and erected a fountain in lieu of permission granted for the six hour event. This is like a godsend for the BBMP that is said to be starved of funds. 

Going by most recent information, the event is proceeding as scheduled. Its impact on the environment will be seen in the next few days. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

Flamingo deaths in Navi Mumbai: A wake up call

Death of 39 flamingos after colliding with an aeroplane has brought attention to shrinking habitats and consequent risks to migratory birds.

On May 20, 2024, an Emirates airplane, descending to land at Mumbai’s Santacruz airport, collided with a flock of flamingos, causing significant damage to the aircraft and killing 39 flamingos. This incident underscores a critical and often overlooked aspect of aviation safety: the risk of bird strikes. News reports and investigations into the bird strike have revealed two primary causes: The high power lines running through the Thane creek flamingo sanctuary could have been responsible. These power lines, built at great heights, may have forced the flamingos to fly higher than usual, putting them in the path of the descending…

Similar Story

Saving Aarey: An environmentalist’s learnings from a Mumbai movement

In a video, Rishi Agarwal talks about his recently launched book on the Save Aarey movement, which tried hard but failed to get the Metro car shed out.

Two months ago, a report by Global Forest Watch, said that India had lost 2.33 million hectares of tree cover since 2000. Given the push for infrastructure development in the country and closer home in Mumbai, forests such as Aarey, Sanjay Gandhi National Park, and wetlands and mangrove forests in Navi Mumbai are constantly at risk.   While successive governments promise afforestation in other areas as compensation, activists and citizens often find that the biodiversity and fragile ecological balance are lost forever. However, the argument that development at the cost of the environment is unavoidable, seems to be getting stronger. Those…