Many lakes in the city are facing a slow death due to lack of proper maintenance. One such example is Jaraganahalli Lake which is located on the Kanakapura Main Road in Jaraganahalli ward.
This huge water body, which was once the home for many aquatic species earlier, is now a dump yard. The water body is now encroached as a portion of the lake is converted into a playground. The encroachment of the lake for a ‘social cause’ also stands as a testimony of the sheer negligence of the authorities.
With many apartments popping up in the vicinity of the lake, the local residents of the area use the lake as a garbage dump. The lake is covered with filth and weeds which are left de-silted for many years. Many residents of this area complain about the foul stench as one passes by the lake.
Speaking about the problem faced by the local residents in the lake’s surrounding areas, Chandrashekhar M V, a resident said, “A portion of lake was converted into a playground despite much opposition from the residents. It took over two months for the encroachers to convert it into a playground. Over 30 years ago, this lake was filled with fresh water with no sewage or dirt. But gradually the quality of the water here started deteriorating with the growth of population. We complained about the issue to the concerned authorities but in vain.”
On the hand, the corporator refuted the fact that the lake was encroached.
When City Express interacted with the corporator of the Jaraganahalli ward, Suguna Balakrishna, she said, "A barren land was converted into the playground over 6-7 years ago. It was not a portion of the lake. It was done for a social cause where general public can make use of the playground."
A few schools and colleges undertook de-silting programmes to make students aware about the importance of lakes in the city. “Over seven to eight years ago, the students of Government Primary School, Jaraganahalli and private college students in separate sessions took part in the activity to de-silt the lake and clean up the weeds. But the streams got dried up soon and it still remains in the same condition, till today. No one here seems to be interested about environment,” said another resident, Gunashekharan S.
The lake also lacks proper fencing and is open for the public to enter.
Today, the lake is under the supervision of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), but it has failed miserably in protecting it.
When asked about the encroachment of lake and its maintenance, K Manjappa, superintending engineer (south), said, “A detailed report, approved by Deputy Commissioner and the tahsildar, will be sent to us. The developmental activities will be taken up in the lakes which demands immediate attention. Strict action will be taken against the encroachers. Also, we are making an endeavour to restore other lakes in the city.”