Thursday, May 30, 2013

Immediate Measures - Agara Lake

Agara Lake was once a hub for many early morning walkers/joggers across HSR Layout, Venkatapura, Jakkasandra, Koramangala and Iblur etc, today it is not more than a garbage dumping yard, source of many anti-social activities and a public toilet for construction workers and laborers. Over the past few years Agara Lake has been consistently neglected leading to a very sad current state of the lake.

It is to be noted that post the landmark judgment and cancellation of PPP lease in Feb 2012, lake was handed over to Lake Development Authority (LDA), and there has been no plan-of-action or any visible lake development or maintenance works has been undertaken by the LDA.

Some immediate measures: 

Harvesting & Clearance: The meteorological department has predicted a good monsoon this year, there is a great opportunity that can be put to use to collect and conserve rain water this year. The lake surrounding has been turned into garbage dumping yard, blocking several rain water inlet points to the lake from the surrounding areas/roads. Unless there is a firm action on the clearance of blockage to the lake inlets this year will also end up as another precious opportunity wasted.

ORR and Jakkasandra road alongside the lake fence has debris and garbage that needs immediate clearance. 
The other side (Agara-Koramangala road) has weeds and unwanted plants that are damaging the fencing also have to be removed.
Blockages in the rain water inlets to the lake have to be cleared.
Clearance of floating garbage/plastic in the lake waters.
Removal of garbage inside the fenced area.
Clearance of debris/garbage in the lake main entrance.
Firm action against dumping of debris/garbage with immediate effect.

Lake Capacity: The Lake that was about 200 acres has been reduced to less than 100 areas due to constant encroachment-regularization of road works, there needs to be concrete plan and a firm action to stop this encroachment-regularization and to build the lake capacity.

The storm/ rain water catchment areas that could be a single largest source of water inflow for the lake needs a review.
Action against inlet of sewage water into the storm water drains that reaches the lake area.
De-silting, clearing the weeds, extending the lake bed could increase the lake capacity by 25%.
Implementation of treatment plant that can better the quality of water entering the lake.
Increase the number of rainwater inlets from the roads around the lake.

Security: Over the last few years the fencing around the lake is in shambles. Illegal dumping of the debris from various construction sites and garbage has destroyed the fencing in several stretches leaving it open to anti-social elements occupying the lake area to run their illegal activities.

There is an urgent need to repair the fencing around the lake and to increase the height of the fencing.
Limit the entry points to access the lake area to only two, also keep the gates locked between 8 pm and 5 am.
Appoint security personals to monitor the entry and exist of the visitors.
Ban entry to construction workers and laborers from using lake area as lavatory.
Strict ban on all illegal and anti-social activities.
Fishing activities should be licensed and monitored.
Police patrol at least once during the evening/night hours.

Beautification: The area surrounding the lake (inside the fence) has a lot of opportunity for tree plantation and to develop gardens, this work can be put into action immediately while making use of good rains that are predicted.

Benches for the visitor/walkers/joggers around the lake and in the garden area.
Flattening of the track around the lake, making to more walker/jogger friendly.
Sufficient lights during evening hours.
Introduction of more fishes into the lake.
Creating zones that can attract birds.
Dustbin around the lake.
Compost plant that can use the dry leaves to convert to manure and utilized for the garden.

-Kavitha Reddy