Hyderabad: Despite tall talk, city lakes continue to gasp for breath

Hyderabad: Despite tall talk, city lakes continue to gasp for breath
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Ahead of appointment of Special Commissioner of Lakes, a city-based activist demands the HMDA to complete the works of lakes that it had already taken up

Hyderabad: Despite the State government taking a decision to appoint a special commissioner to oversee the development, beautification and protection of lakes within the Hyderabad metropolis, a city-based activist claimed that not a single lake in the city had been fully restored or developed so far.

Due to the glaring nonchalance of officials and the government, many lakes have become cesspools with continuous dumping of waste and release of sewage and are also being eyed by land sharks and realtors who want to encroach them to make easy money, claimed Robin Zaccheus, an activist.

In 2018, Zaccheus filed an RTI plea seeking details of beautification of 40 lakes by Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA). He said as per the reply provided by the HMDA, not a single lake was restored completely in the last four years. The State government on April 6, 2018 sanctioned an amount of Rs 120 crore to the HMDA for the beautification of 20 lakes. However, the works of lakes were either stopped, cancelled and could not be taken up due to various reasons. However, he said that HMDA claimed that of the 20 lakes, 14 works of nine lakes were completed, 12 works of 8 lakes could not be taken up and the works of three lakes were completed 50 per cent.

It seems the works were planned only on paper, he said, claiming that the beautification works in 90 per cent of lakes were still pending. Robin said works were stalled due to complaints from Patta landholders for Edula Cheruvu, Pedda Cheruvu in Amberpet, Tondapally Cheruvu in Shamshabad, Pasumamula Cheruvu in Abdullapurmet, Pedda Cheruvu in Keesara, Rampally Cheruvu, Mallampet Cheruvu in Bowrampet, Pedda Cheruvu in Peerzadiguda and a few different lakes under the HMDA.

Robin said, "No works have begun on three lakes, including Jalpally Tank in Balapur, Nadeem Cheruvu in Ghatkesar and Kuntlur Cheruvu because of complaints by patta landholders and forthcoming sewage works by Water Board. Curiously, works of some lakes could not get completed due to the objections raised by habitants residing near the lakes."

"The works of Mukkidi Lake, popular as RK Puram Lake in Malkajgiri constituency, were ignored and the HMDA is planning to start the works all again. However, the lake has been turned into a dump yard in the meantime," he said, demanding the State government to immediately take up the beautification and restoration works of city lakes.

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