More than a year after the Singena Agrahara lake in Bengaluru’s Anekal was cleared of encroachments and protected from sewage discharge following a citizens’ initiative, an internal state government report has found that the water body is now free from pollution.
Water samples from the lake were collected by a Bengaluru-based laboratory, Environmental Health and Safety Research Development Centre, on July 13, and analysed on 35 parameters. The analysis was completed on July 19 and the report was published earlier this month.
The report, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, reads, “The measured values for the parameters were observed to be within the standards.”
“Thirty-five parameters, including pH, colour, odour and presence of iron, fluoride, copper, zinc, arsenic, lead, chromium, manganese in the water were checked and we found everything to be within the limits,” an official from the minor irrigation department said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
This is the first lake in Anekal which was cleared of encroachments and safeguarded from sewage discharge.
Locals say the Singena Agrahara lake dates back thousands of years and was traditionally used for irrigation. In the last decade, the 106 acre water body was subjected to garbage dumping and over 6.5 acres had been encroached.
In June 2021, as a part of a ‘Lake Protection in Anekal Taluk’ initiative, lake activist Captain (Retd) Santhosh Kumar, who is presently working as a GST assistant commissioner, raised the issue of the rejuvenation of the lake and worked with former Bengaluru Urban deputy commissioner J Manjunath to evict encroachers. Encroachments were removed not only from the lake but also from the storm water drains connecting it, ensuring free flow of water.
In May, the revenue department, along with the state forest department, also established a community forest next to the lake.
“These old lakes have historic significance and cleaning lakes and drains and removing encroachments are principles that we abide by. We are happy that the time we spent on this lake brought positive results and the lake has good water quality. This ensures that the water used in irrigation from this lake would be of better quality,” Kumar said.
On Wednesday, Mrutyunjayaswamy, secretary to the government of Karnataka for the minor irrigation department, visited the lake along with engineers from the department.