Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Rejuvenation of Open Well in front of Russell Market


     Russell Markeand Durgah near Russell Market

Russell market is one of the oldest markets in Bangalore, it is located in Shivajinagar. A road runs along the entrance of this market. On the other side of this road, there is an old open well. Well digger Ramakrishna says that the locals believe this well to be more than 270 years old. Locals also say that the erstwhile ruler of the Mysore kingdom, Tipu Sultan, would drink from this well after visiting the nearby Durgah.
The well is stone lined and circular in shape. It is 20 ft in diameter and 45 ft deep. It had always held water, even in dry seasons. However, it had fallen into disuse in recent years, with people throwing garbage into it. The municipal authorities had covered the top of this well with a grill for safety purposes.


 The Open Well, being cleaned

Debris and silt removed from the well

SayTrees organization decided to rejuvenate this well. After rejuvenation, the water from this well is planned to be used for the two small toilet complexes that BBMP is constructing nearby. Well digger Ramakrishna and his team started cleaning this well on 19th December 2022. As a first step, water from the well, which was at 6 ft below ground level was emptied out. Three pumps of 2HP capacity were used to empty out the water. Garbage which had accumulated over the years was removed along with the silt. There were also large-sized stones which were present at the bottom of the well, these stones were probably remnants from other construction work which had happened in the vicinity. The stones were also removed as part of the cleaning process. The entire cleaning effort took around one and a half weeks. A pump is planned to be installed to draw out water. Once the pump is installed, the well will be covered with a metal mesh structure with very fine holes, this will prevent leaves from surrounding trees from falling into the well. Water from this well is planned to be used for the nearby public toilets constructed by BBMP


The two toilet complexes, being constructed by BBMP, in which the well water will be used

It is also worth noting that the groundwater table in Shivajinagar is quite high. Local establishments like tea houses and restaurants still use water from their private wells.

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