Polluting SWD a major threat to Agara lake’s ecosystem

The stinking rajakaluve near Agara lake has turned a bugbear to residents. They raised concerns about contamination of the lake due to inflow of sewage water from the overflowing rajakaluve.

A polluted storm water drain (SWD) clogged with tonnes of waste is threatening to contaminate the Agara Lake, thanks to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) apathy despite complaints by local residents.

As the garbage clogs the drain near the bridge closer to the lake, residents fear that the place –already a rich
breeding ground for mosquitoes- would transform into a chief source of vector borne diseases. They also give the place close to the drain a wide birth, assailed by the putrefying odour emerging from the drain’s rotten depths.

The trouble started when sewage began flowing into the drain from houses in Bommanahalli and Roopena Agrahara months ago, which officials ignored. The recent rains worsened the situation by choking the inlet
with garbage, mostly plastic waste. Activists warned that turning a blind eye to the situation would threaten the lake’s ecosystem. “It has been four years since the rajakaluve (SWD) was de-silted,” said Kavitha Reddy, a Lake Activist and KPCC spokesperson.

As sewage continues to flow through the drain, Members of Agara Lake Protection and Management Society (ALPMS) urged the BBMP to clean the SWD, but the civic body did not pay heed, Kavitha said. Activists stacked up sandbags to heighten the lake bund where the sewage water is entering the water body.

“This’s not going to stop sewage, but this would at the very least prevent garbage from floating around the lake’s water,” Kavitha said.

BBMP officials on the other hand rejected claims that water from the drain is polluting the lake, insisting that periodic de-siltings were taking place throughout the ward.

Agara residents complain that the lake’s Kalyani has also been polluted after Ganesha immersions. “BBMP has collected the waste from the lake’s banks but they should do something about water in the Kalyani,” said a resident.

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