Once a hub of recreational activities, today the pond is dilapidated, ignored

The picturesque Nayarkere pond — once bubbling with activity — is filled with weeds and dirt here.

The pond, close to Congress Bhavan at Brahmagiri, used to see a lot of activity with children and youngsters learning swimming in the mornings and evenings till 2007. People used to take stroll around the pond and some used to enjoy a calm evening on the benches installed by the Udupi City Municipal Council (CMC).

The pond, which has a depth of about 20 feet, was cleaned and beautified in 2000 at a cost of Rs. 8 lakh. But over the years, silt accumulated in the pond, and it fell into disuse. Thanks to a public initiative, the pond was given a fresh look in April 2007, when three non-resident Indians contributed money for removing the silt and cleaning the pond. Within 15 days, the pond had a fresh look, and the iron railings around got a fresh coat of paint and nine benches installed at a cost of Rs. 2 lakh.

However, after the drowning of two students in the pond on August 20, 2008, the CMC banned swimming and bathing in the pond. Since then, it has been a case of declining glory for the pond.

The steps leading to the pond are giving away. The pond is now filled with weeds and some lotuses.

There is lot of dirt and garbage around the pond. A couple of concrete benches have fallen off.

Sudhakar Soans, a resident, who is a metal welder, said that it was high time the CMC developed the Nayarkere pond.

“First they should remove the silt and clean the pond. This would also increase the water level in the nearby wells. The garbage around the pond should also be cleaned. It should be developed into a spot for recreation,” he said.

P. Yuvaraj, CMC president, said that the CMC would take up the development of the pond after the monsoon. But it would take precautionary measures to see that children do not enter the pond.

“We will sanction funds from the CMC and seek money from the State government for it. Hopeful the cleaning and development of the pond would be completed by the end of this year,” he said.

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