A green carpet of algae, interspersed with innumerable fish that lay floating amid plastic bottles represents what was once a temple lake in Jeppinamogeru.

Residents nearby acknowledged that the sight of thousands of fish floating up lifelessly on the Karambi pond on Tuesday came as a shock.

“This is the first time this is happening. Now, the stench is unbearable…The water is so polluted that even the cats refuse to eat the dead fish on the banks,” said Shakuntala Poojary, whose house faces the seasonal pond.

Nearby, Sanchiksha C. Bolar complained of the swarm of mosquitoes that have started to breed amidst the carcasses of the fish.

Sixty-five-year-old Devaki Poojari, who has been living by the pond for over three decades now, remembers a time when the residents used the swathes of land around it to grow vegetables. “The water was pure, and we would use it till April when it would dry up. Ever since the MCC made an embankment, the water has turned green and has started to stink,” she said.

Jeppinamogeru Corporator J. Surendra said the embankment was constructed at the cost of Rs. 25 lakh (through the MLA’s funds) in 2011. The problem, he says, is that when the embankment was made, the culvert – which discharges waste water from the bathrooms nearby – was drained into the pond, instead of creating a bypass around it.

The sight of the pand its overpowering smell made MCC Commissioner S. Ajith Kumar Hegde exclaim “Oh my god” on arriving there.

“We will create a temporary mud culvert by the side of the pond to divert the waste water and concrete the culvert after the rainy season,” he said, and directed the MCC engineers to drain out the pond and clean the base before the monsoons.

Engineers said diverting the culvert would involve cutting of numerous trees.

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