‘The clean-up programme wasn’t just a flash in the pan’
The city’s Agara lake may no longer be a picture of neglect, thanks to eco-conscious citizens of Koramangala and HSR Layout. Responding to the Lake Development Authority’s (LDA) call to citizens to be involved in the management of the lake, as per a High Court direction last year, close to 400 volunteers took part in a cleaning drive on Sunday. Plastic bags, bottles and non-biodegradable waste were cleared from the surroundings and wild shrubs removed.
Sunday’s clean-up programme was not a flash in the pan, promised Ganesan Manickavasagam, a co-ordinator of the Save Agara Group.
“On July 20, IBM employees have volunteered to clean up the lake. On August 15, a 10K run has been planned as an awareness event for citizens to understand what is happening. An ‘Agara lake management and protection trust’ is also being formed and may take over the management of the lake from the LDA,” he said.
The Save Agara Group aims to increase the water-level in the lake, separate storm-water drains and sewerage lines, and revive the ecosystem around the water body. The proposed not-for-profit trust also aims to restore the walkway around the lake, repair the fences, provide security and ensure snake trenches around the walkway.
Environmentalist A.N. Yellappa Reddy, Additional Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee, and Ravi Ralph, CEO, LDA, were among those who lent a hand for the Sunday clean-up operation.
The lake is ridden with problems, including sewage contamination, disturbance of inflow owing to infrastructure development around it, and improper method of directing rainwater into the lake.