Ankit Sharma Sharma
Green tea Addict | A Tree Hugger | Born for Change
Hussain sagar lake, the oldest lake of Hyderabad, is one of the most polluted lakes in India. In the last 15 years, around Rs 1034 crore has been spent on cleaning and restoring the lake, yet the condition of the lake has not improved even a bit, reported The Times of India.
Once known as the royal gem of the Hyderabad city, Hussainsagar Lake is on the verge of dying today. The 480-year-old lake, built by Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah IV is hitting dangerous levels of degradation with each passing day because of industrial and chemical waste, along with the sewage dumped into the lake on a daily basis. There is a continuous discharge of harmful antibiotics, heavy metals, toxic salts into the lake, and not only that, around tonnes of waste is dumped into the lake every year.
According to the Deccan Chronicle, adding to the misery of the lake, in September 2017, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewage Board (HMWSSB) has allowed sewage water to flow into the lake to repair the sewer line at NTR gardens, the lake also receives sewage waste from Balkapur and Banjara Nalas causing an unbearable stench. As reported by The New Indian Express the dissolved oxygen in the lake is zero, the lake’s toxicity is only growing day by day. It has reached the lowest standard which is Category-E set by the Central Pollution Control Board.
The Times of India has reported that the official records show that over the so-called conservation and restoration work, more than Rs 1000 crore has been spent by various agencies since the year 2002. The number of external agencies provided some of the funds. The restoration work first started in 1998, in which the municipal corporation of Hyderabad spent Rs 40 crore at that time, following which in the year 2004 under the ‘Musi River Action Plan’ National River Conservation Directorate spent Rs 344 crore. In the year 2006, again in a project of saving the lake and its catchment area, the HMDA spent around Rs 370 Crore.
In 2016, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) spent over Rs 280 crores out of total Rs 360 Crore on the restoration and management of the lake provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. The Government also consulted Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), for the conservation of lake but reportedly it did not go ahead because of the high consulting fee of AIT. In an attempt of removing waste material from the lake, In July 2018, the HMDA launched two Pontoon mounted excavators in the lake.
The Malla Reddy Institute of Technology, Hyderabad conducted the latest study on Hussainsagar lake which was published in the International Journal of Environment. The researcher PM Rafi and Jyothi Kusuma has said that “Hussainsagar has suffered for decades from sewage flowing from four Nalas being dumped into it. The fear has been that one day the lake will end up as a large sewage effluent tank in the heart of Hyderabad if suitable measures are not taken.”
The current state of the lake shows the irresponsible behaviour of the industries, corporate houses and the Government. Despite spending thousands of crores over the last 15 years, the situation of the lake is worsening with each passing day. The Government has failed to take effective measurements for the protection of the lake; there is a lack of planning and execution of projects by the authorities.
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