Safilguda Lake. Safilguda Lake, which falls under the Malkajgiri Municipality limits, is spread over 17 acres. The lake is a gift to locals as it’s a paradise for morning and evening walkers. Senior citizens find the place perfect for meditation and physical exercise.
Safilguda Lake, which falls under the Malkajgiri Municipality limits, is spread over 17 acres. The lake is a gift to locals as it’s a paradise for morning and evening walkers. Senior citizens find the place perfect for meditation and physical exercise. The boundary road of the lake is similar to that of the Tank Bund and hence is referred to as Mini Tank Bund. The lake was inaugurated in the year 2000. Residents were elated and welcomed the carving out of a lung space in the cluttered neighbourhood.
However, the same lake has turned into a picture of neglect dotted with stinking garbage piles and has become a breeding place for mosquitoes. Neighbouring colonies’ effluents and drain lines flow into the lake, emitting obnoxious smell to the park users. The tank bed is exposed to the jaws of encroachers, cutting down the current area of the lake.
The lake is known for being a favourite destination for migratory birds. More than 53 varieties of birds visit the lake in winter. The lake was once the main source of drinking water needs of the people and also a source of irrigation to farmers. The early settlers of Safilguda (around the 1960s-70s), slowly developed dwellings surrounding the lake, and henceforth, the development was rapid.
The lake supports a rich biodiversity besides being a high biomass of fish and plankton that forms the source of food for birds. The most common birds found around the lake are pond heron, little grebe (dabchick), black crowned night heron, spot billed duck, teals, common coot, bronzed winged jacana, kingfishers, ducks, cuckoos, storks, pigeons, doves, parrots, bulbuls, leafbirds and many more.
One of the most common herons you would encounter here would be the green-backed heron. A relatively small wading bird, slowly stalking in shallow water, or hanging from a low tree branch, its dart-like jab at a fish is rarely off target. One can also watch Kingfishers catching fishes in their typical style by diving from about 20 feet above the water. The black ducks and storks also form major attractions of the lake.
The best time to watch birds is between 7.30 am and 9am from September to January. Despite housing so many species of birds, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) has never tried to promote the lake as a popular destination for bird lovers.
The Safilguda Lake was restored under the Lake Conservation Programme, initiated by the erstwhile Hyderabad Urban Development Authority with the assistance of Royal Netherlands Embassy (RNE), under the Green Hyderabad Environment Programme (GHEP).
HUDA had restored the highly polluted lake in early 2000s. After restoration and cleaning, the lake and its surroundings were clean for some time. However, as years have passed, the lake is deteriorating in condition. At present, the lake and the park seem to be in a state of neglect. The water looks dirty, due to high level of pollution.
There is an urgent need to clean the lake and prevent the inflow of effluents through a coordinated effort by the HMDA and the GHMC. Though litter bins had been placed in many places, people still throw garbage in and around the lake. People end up smoking and disposing garbage in spite of display boards put up by the HMDA authorities warning to penalise against the act.