Lakes of The City: Vennela Cheruvu
Vennela Cheruvu is located at Jeedimetla village in Qutubullapur Mandal. The lake is covered under the HMDA Lake Protection Committee and falls within the jurisdiction of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).
Vennela Cheruvu is located at Jeedimetla village in Qutubullapur Mandal. The lake is covered under the HMDA Lake Protection Committee and falls within the jurisdiction of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). As surveyed by the GHMC in 2013, the lake water spread area is about 3400 acres, FTL is 38 acres and bund length is 571 metre. The lake once used to provide water for agriculture and allied activities and was the main source for drinking water. The lake was known to attract migratory birds in winter due to existence of a dense forest. The lake is 20 km away from Secunderabad Railway Station and 35 km from Rajiv Gandhi International Airport.
The etymology of the lake’s name stays in suspense as the villagers are using the name since long but are unaware of its origin. The locals say that the lake was huge during the Nizam’s period and conserved water from high altitudes in rainy seasons. The lake served as a reservoir for cultivation and drinking purposes. The lake was a hub for fishermen as it housed many species of fishes, especially the Talab fish.
Dr Lubna Sarwath, co-convener and a member of SOUL (Save Our Urban Lakes), said, “Though GHMC conducted a survey in 2013, no fencing was done to prevent encroachments in the FTL and Buffer Zone. This has lead to rampant growth of illegal graveyards.”
The entire lake is layered with hyacinth and the surroundings have turned into dump yard.
“All the drain water outlets submerge in the lake. This is attracting pigs and dogs and the entire lake is contaminated. The lake bed and buffer zone have been encroached by primary schools and many unauthorised individual buildings and apartments have come up,” she added.
The SOUL representative adds that the Lake Protection Committee of the HMDA and the GHMC do not coordinate and end up blaming each other for the problems.
“Our complaints are ignored by the concerned departments and we are forced to run from pillar to post to know the status. This is not yielding any results,” Lubna lamented.
She appealed to the Telangana Government to revive the Walta Act functioning so that water bodies can be saved from the jaws of the land sharks.
By: Ch Saibaba