Water in the Singena Agrahara lake in Bengaluru is finally free of pollution, an internal state government has found. The development comes over a year after the lake at Anekal was cleared of encroachments and protected from discharge of sewage following a citizen initiative.
The Environmental Health and Safety Research Development Centre, a Bengaluru-based laboratory, collected water samples from the lake on July 13 and analysed it on 35 parameters. The analysis was completed on July 19 and the report published earlier this month.
The report, a copy of which was accessed by The Indian Express, said: “The measured values for the parameters were observed to be within the standards.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, a Minor Irrigation Department said the water was checked for 35 parameters, including colour, pH, odour, and presence of fluoride, iron, zinc, copper, lead, arsenic, manganese, and chromium and everything was found to be within limits.
This is the first lake in Anekal that had been cleared of encroachments and protected from sewage discharge.
Local residents said the Singena Agrahara lake dated back thousands of years and was used for irrigation. In the last decade, the 106-acre lake was subjected to garbage dumping, while over 6.5 acres was encroached.
In June 2021, as part of the ‘Lake Protection in Anekal Taluk’ initiative, local lake activist Captain (Retd) Santhosh Kumar, currently a GST Assistant Commissioner, raised the issue of the lake’s rejuvenation and worked with former Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner J Manjunath to evict the encroachers.
Encroachments were removed from the lake and the storm water drains connected to it, ensuring the free flow of water.
In May, the Revenue Department and Forest Department established a community forest next to the lake.
Kumar told The Indian Express that these old lakes had historic significance and cleaning these and the drains and removing encroachments were principles that they abided by. He expressed his happiness that their efforts paid off and that the lake had good water quality.
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He added that this ensured that the water used in irrigation from the lake would be of better quality.