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Kudikunta Lake springs back to life after decades

Kudikunta Lake springs back to life after decades
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After an eight-month-long restoration drive, the Kudikunta Lake in Seri Lingampally has sprung back to life and how. For the first time in decades, the 7.78-acre lake is once again looking like how it used to, when it was a drinking water source for 22,000 people. And the residents of the locality are overjoyed. 

Serilingampally: After an eight-month-long restoration drive, the Kudikunta Lake in Seri Lingampally has sprung back to life and how. For the first time in decades, the 7.78-acre lake is once again looking like how it used to, when it was a drinking water source for 22,000 people. And the residents of the locality are overjoyed.

“The lake had been reduced to a life-less pool of blackish water following decades of neglect and dumping of waste, pollutants and sewage water. But now the stink is completely gone and the water has regained it’s original blue colour. It’s remarkable,” says Ramesh Marupaka beaming.

In fact, there is a visible change in the lake and surrounding areas as well, as Ramesh Chander, another resident, points out, “The odour has completely disappeared and now we can go for our morning walks near the lake again. The mosquitoes are also gone. but consistent efforts are needed to protect it from those who throw garbage and connect their drains to this lake.”

Experts say that the restoration of Kudikunta Lake is “one of the greatest success stories in the history of lake rejuvenation in our city”. Relentless efforts by the GHMC and local communities have brought life back into the water body.

“The purification process made use of an enzyme called, Oxidase which generates powerful oxidising radicals that treat the polluted water,” said treatment expert Sharath Babu, who has been striving to purify ponds and water tanks in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for last one decade.

Elaborating on the cleaning procedure, he explains, “The enzyme helps in purifying the water through a water-splitting process, i.e., dividing all the organic materials into oxygen and carbon dioxide. Also harmful particles in the lake, like hydrogen sulphide is broken down into sulphides and ammonia are converted to nitrogen gas, and methane is broken into carbon dioxide.

(The stink of the lake is primarily due to the combination of hydrogen sulphide, ammonia and methane). The existing technologies only help in making the stink, but, oxidisation removes stink by completely eliminating the root cause behind the stink, and thus improving the quality of the lake.

The process treats a wide range of pollutants, which do not degrade normally. Oxidise also causes oxygen levels in the lake to rise, thereby kills mosquito larvae which thrive on carbon dioxide.” Experts believe that this experiment is one of the greatest success stories in the history of rejuvenating lakes in Hyderabad. “It took us four major clean ups and four minor ones in last eight months to see life coming back to this once-neglected lake. The stench and mosquitoes have reduced substantially.

The turbidity has come down and removing organic floating waste and plastics have made a big impact to the lake. Many species of wetland birds and fish have also returned to the lake which show that Kudikunta is once again brimming with life,” said Kalpana Ramesh, founder of city-based lake conservation group, Live The Lakes, adding,

“We also created a Lake Protection Committee for the first time in city in last week to hand over the responsibility of maintaining the lake to the local communities so that they can protect the lake for the future.” Following the successful restoration of Kudikunta Lake, the GHMC is gearing up to adopt these sophisticated technologies for cleaning other city lakes as well.

“We gave a nod to adopt these technologies for cleaning city lakes after seeing the positive results at the Kudikunta Lake, where they were used for the first time in city. We plan to use bio-oxidisation and bio-remediation technologies to purify other water bodies in Hyderabad,” said GHMC West Zone Commissioner, Hari Chandana.

By Mohammed Hussain

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