Age-old waterbody counting days

Venugopalaswamy pond to be filled-up to construct a community hall

However, the age-old waterbody, belonging to Venugopalaswamy Trust is now counting its days. All the debris generated in the City are now being dumped near the pond. Furthermore, all arrangements are also being made for construction of a community hall at the spot. If not prevented, the pond may become history in a short span of time.
The pond is a symbol of cultural history of the City. Teppotsava, used to be held in the pond was a memorable occasion. Even now, the pond is used for immersion of Ganesha idols.

However, the pond is remembered only once in a year by the devotees as well as the administration - during immersion. Filth and drainage water has become hallmark of this waterbody. The Trust has deemed it fit to fill the pond. Sources told Deccan Herald that a decision to this effect has been arrived at a meeting of the Trust office-bearers, held recently.

There are several differing opinions on maintenance of the pond. The pond used to receive only rain water previously.  Programmes like Teppotsava were being held then and the maintenance was not a problem at all. However, over the course of time, the supply lines to the pond have been clogged and instead of rain water, drainage is being fed to the pond. The district administration, as a ritual, issues direction to immerse the Ganesha idols in the pond, every year. The Trust has decided to fill up the pond instead of observing devotion in the filthy water. “Though we are hurt by the decision to fill up a waterbody, we have no other way,” Trust sources said.

However, the opposition to filling up the pond have also surfacing slowly. “These ponds have become part of the social life for centuries together. Filling it up or constructing a building over it amounts to disrespect for the community spirit. The public should put in collective effort to save the age-old waterbody,”  opines Dr D Dominique, a resident of Kataripalya. Like-minded people should chalk out a strategy to preserve the pond, he felt.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Gangadharaiah said that the district is facing acute scarcity of water resources and has taken up various programmes for conservation and protection of water resources. The district administration has the authority to prevent any attempt to closure of waterbodies, whether it belongs to a private trust or Muzrai Department.Attention should be given towards rejuvenating it, he felt. Waterbodies play vital role in recharging of groundwater level apart from serving as a source of water. They play crucial role particularly in drought-hit area like Kolar. Collective efforts should be put in to preserve the pond.

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