Lakes of the city: Bathukamma Lake
Lakes of The City: Bathukamma Lake. Bathukamma Lake, popularly known as Bathukamma Kunta, is located between Shivam Road and Amberpet Road. It is one of the oldest lakes in the city.
Bathukamma Lake, popularly known as Bathukamma Kunta, is located between Shivam Road and Amberpet Road. It is one of the oldest lakes in the city. The lake was mainly used by locals for irrigation and fishing activities and for the immersion of Bathukamma. As per records, the tank was spread over 27 acres and has now reduced to less than seven acres due to massive encroachments, illegal constructions by land sharks and unilateral permission sanctioned by the GHMC against the directives of the Supreme Court.
As per Supreme Court’s orders, no new construction activities should be taken up in the vicinity of the existing lakes in the city, except those for the beautification of the water body. The lake has now become a plain land surrounded by thick bushes, shrubs and trees. Besides, the lake has turned into a den for antisocial activities like prostitution and sale of cheap liquor late in the evening. Adding to the existing woes, the lake has become a garbage dumping yard, emanating foul smell which poses health hazards.
The Bathukamma Kunta was constructed during the Nizam’s rule and it was a place to bathe and clean the Nizams cavalry viz, horses, mules, camels and elephants. The lake got its name as it was famous for immersion of Bathukamma, the patron goddess of womanhood (Maha Gauri Devi).
A SOUL (Save Our Urban Lakes) member, said, “The lake’s FTL and buffer zone area was subjected to indiscriminate encroachments and unauthorised constructions of multi complex apartments, individual buildings and commercial complexes. Land sharks have ruthlessly dumped debris, soil and other waste materials with an intention to dry the lake and make money out of it. The condition of the lake continues to be in a pathetic state till date.”
Recently senior Congress leader and MP V Hanumantha Rao demanded that the Telangana State government to save the lake. He said that the public representatives and officials under the united Andhra Pradesh had failed to pay attention to several representations made by him to save the lake. He demanded the newly elected government to save the seven-acre lake from encroachment as this was known for immersion of Bathukamma by the local women.
“When KCR can sanction Rs 10 crore for the Bathukamma festival and invite women from across the country to take part in the festivities, why can’t he save this lake, which in the jaws of the land sharks? The festivities of Bathukamma would remain incomplete, until and unless the Bathukamma lake is restored,” said VHR.
G Yadagiri, a retired SBH employee living in Amberpet since 1972, said, “There was surplus water in the tank two decades ago as it was protected by a bund to prevent outflow. Slowly, people stared breaking the bund, which continued for decades and unauthorised constructions have come on a massive scale though the HMDA fenced the lake area, which was subsequently remove. Now the lake has totally vanished. All we have now is a big garbage dumping yard. Though the Bathukamma festival is celebrated in a big way, the immersion of the idols would be taking place here.”