Residents of HSR Layout Sector IV got down to brass tacks today and launched their drive to revive Agara lake.
The group began by removing garbage strewn on the lake bed. Volunteers, including a fair sprinkling of children, mopped up 70 bags of plastic waste .
We have been working on the lake-revival plan for several months. Now that the Lake Development Authority (LDA) has freed the water body of encroachments and the high court has empowered citizen groups to take charge, we are planning to set up a trust to revive the water body. Unlike Bellandur lake, where rejuvenation work started as part of a government initiative, this will be a long-drawn battle," said Ganesan Manickavasagam, coordinator of Save Agara Lake group. He said there'll be constant vigil to monitor encroachments, if any, around the lake.
"Public participation helped in the revival of Kaikondanahalli and Puttenahalli lakes. We have set up an online platform inviting those interested to come forward and help us," he added.
In its heyday, Agara lake provided irrigation and drinking water to villagers in the neighbourhood. But urbanization shrunk the water body and indiscriminate sinking of borewells sapped water at the source too.
"It is good that residents have woken up and started such an initiative. But I wish it becomes an inclusive movement, and not remain a middle-class or upper-class venture... Residents should go by the high court guidelines on reviving and protecting water bodies. They must also focus on rejuvenating canals that lead to the lake and agricultural fields," said Leo Saldhana of the Environment Support Group.