About Agara Lake

Agara Lake is an expanse of about 98 acres, lying between Koramangala and HSR Layout, in the southern part of Bangalore city.

Visiting hours to the lake: 
Monday-Saturday 530 a.m. to 11 a.m., 4 p.m. to 630 p.m.
Sunday 530 a.m. to 630 p.m.

Agara Lake - The past, the present and the future

8th century
There is evidence of the existence of Agara Lake (Ref: Changes in Public Commons as aConsequence of Urbanization: The Agara Lake in Bangalore, India – R D’Souza and H. Nagendra, Environmental Management, May 2011, Vol 47, Issue 5, Pg 840–850, DOI 10.1007/s00267-011-9658-8).

A few decades ago 
The lake is used for irrigation and for drinking water by residents of Agara and other surrounding villages. The rain water from the huge catchment area surrounding the lake keeps it alive and healthy. Over flow from the Madivala Lake reaches Agara Lake through the Raja Kaluve. Overflow from Agara Lake drains into Bellandur Lake. 

Late 1980s/early 1990 
Bangalore DevelopmentAuthority (BDA) forms HSR Layout.

1990 – 2000 
Rapid infrastructure development around the lake shrinks it. Infrastructure development over the catchment area restricts the inflow.

BDA’s DPR for Agara Lake restoration is approved.

July 2002 
LakeDevelopment Authority (LDA), an autonomous regulatory body is created through a government order, as a non-profit society for the regeneration and conservation of lakes in and around Bangalore.

BDA, together with the Forest Department, restores the lake and erects a fence around it. Hon’ble Chief Minister SM Krishna opens the lake and adjoining park to public. The restored lake has an upstream wetland for filtering incoming water and gates to control water inflow from the Raja Kaluve. The gates are to be opened during the monsoon or pre-monsoon rains, when the contamination of the Raja Kaluve is minimal.

Many parts of HSR Layout get flooded. The government plans reconstruction of storm water drains and widening of canal near the lake inlet. These works, to be carried out in next few years. 

Lake handed over to LDA for maintenance and upkeep.

May 2007 Agara Lake is one of the four lakes leased out to private entities for development and maintenance on PPP model. LDA enters into an agreement with Hyderabad-based Biota Natural Systems Pvt. Ltd. and leases out Agara Lake for 15 years.

Bangalore based Environment Support Group (ESG) files PIL challenging the legality of lake privatization. 

The lease with Biota systems is terminated by LDA as Biota did not meet the service norms set in the contract. Karnataka High Court restrains development work on all the privatized lakes including Agara Lake.

2009 – 2012 
The lake deteriorates at an alarming rate. The development work undertaken to widen the canal disturbs the water inflow. Storm water inlets from HSR get blocked due to bridge construction. Fencing is damaged at number of locations due to over-bridge constructions along west and east boundaries. 

Verdict is passed by Karnataka High Court in favor of LDA and disposed the PIL from ESG. In the case of the Agara Lake, Karnataka High Court also approves the cancellation of the contact with Biota Systems giving the control of the lake back to LDA. Court directs LDA to hand over the management of lake to an NGO/public trust with active participation from neighborhood welfare groups. 

July 2013
Agara Lake, totally dry. Inset - scenes from earlier times.  

LDA reaches out to neighborhood RWAs for support. Various individuals and groups interested in the welfare of the lake come together to form a public society ALPMS that is expected to take over the protection and management of Agara Lake. Various awareness programs, restoration and lake management programs planned.

The monsoons of 2013 result in considerable inflow of water into the lake.

Sunset at Agara Lake, Oct 2013

A chronology of significant events(last updated - 14 Jan 2018) concerning Agara Lake  can be seen here.