Kaja Kunta Lake turned into concrete jungle
Spread over eight acres, 17 guntas in Kukatpally, Kaja Kunta is comes under the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) Lake Protection Committee but no information regarding the lake is available on the HMDA website. The lake, 15 kms away from the Secunderabad Railway Station and 25 kms from Rajiv Gandhi International Airport,
Spread over eight acres, 17 guntas in Kukatpally, Kaja Kunta is comes under the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) Lake Protection Committee but no information regarding the lake is available on the HMDA website. The lake, 15 kms away from the Secunderabad Railway Station and 25 kms from Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, was once used to provide water for agriculture and was a main source for drinking water needs for the locals and neighbouring villages.
But now, the size of the lake is reduced due to unauthorised construction of houses and apartments in shikam lands abutting the lake bed and its buffer zone in contravention to the Supreme guidelines and Walta Act 2002. Prominent localities near the lake are Sheshadri Nagar, Sangheeth Nagar, Prashanth Nagar, Metro Mall among others. Nearest MMTS railway stations are Hitec City and Bora Banda.
According to locals, the lake existed since 16th century, the era of Nawab Khwaja Abid Siddiqi, grandfather of the first Nizam. Khaja Abid, who had held the high office of Qazi and Shaik-ul-Islam, first visited India during the reign of Shah Jahan in 1655 on his way to Mecca. In 1657 he returned from his pilgrimage and joined the service of Aurangzeb, who was in Deccan preparing for the war of succession to the Mughal throne. The descendents of Khaja Abid lived here for long and the Nizam of Hyderabad gave the land to them, under fermana. Since then, the kunta came to be known as ‘Kaja Kunta’.
G Balaswamy and MV Krishna Rao of Save Our Urban Lakes (SOUL) said, “The lake is subjected to rampant encroachments due to illegal sanctions accorded in lake bed. The Full Tank Level (FTL) boundaries were broken and an unauthorised road was laid. The entire lake and its surroundings have now turned into a cesspool. 12 MLD sewerage treatment plant was constructed in the lake bed against the provisions of the Walta Act 2002.
There are more than 16 lakes and kuntas which exist in Balanagar mandal covering an area of over 600 acres of lake beds, buffer zones and Shikam lands worth Rs 6,000 crore of which 1,000 crore of land was already grabbed by land sharks. If the government doesn’t take any action, the lakes would soon vanish.”