Hyderabad: Poisonous foam emanated from the Perki Lake early this year and usually engulfs Dharaninagar in Kukatpally in mid-monsoon for the past three years.
But this year, after the first strong rainfall on Friday, the locality was awash in foam and a horrible stench. Environmentalists and residents have repeatedly complained about the degradation of the lake, and what happened on Saturday only goes to show the apathy of civic officials.
The GHMC began nala widening, construction of a retaining wall and alleviating culvert so that the water flows continuously, avoiding formation of foam. However, the lack of co-ordination between the various teams of the civic body is evident as the retaining wall has been constructed only on one side.
On the other side there are houses. According to sources, out of the 36 properties that had to be demolished, only 24 properties were acquired. Furthermore, these 24 properties acquired were compound walls and open lands. It is evident that key land acquisition for widening the nala couldn’t take place.
Consequently, two culverts which are bottle necks on this stretch and need to be removed have not been removed. “There are at least five colonies in the vicinity of the lake and the entire 124 division of GHMC is currently at risk. About 84 acres of the original lake has come down to 24 acres which is covered with hyacinth.
We brought it to the notice of politicians who even gave sanctions. But it is evident from the foaming that nothing was fruitful. We even tweeted to Minister K.T. Rama Rao at least four times seeking intervention. Government and bureaucrats are turning a deaf ear to our views,” said Vara Prasad, a resident of Dharaninagar.
Residents allege that the pollution is causing skin allergies and groundwater contamination. Politicians and civic officials have visited the site to pacify the residents but have done little else.
Mahender Reddy, president of the colony welfare association, said, “Last year the froth came in September or October and people couldn't even come out. If for small rainfall this is the condition, if heavy rain occurs, it is a disaster waiting to happen. Parki cheruvu needs immediate attention. Some environmentalists say the source of the foam is yet to be identified.
B.V. Subba Rao, a lake protection and water management expert, said, “Foam is forming only at outlets and there might be bacteria which is causing it or industrial effluents are causing it.
There is a lot to explain about the formation of the froth. Nobody understands the gravity of the situation, which is turning into a catastrophe. In the next 24 hours we are anticipating heavy downpour and it is evident that we are not ready.”
The GHMC has procured anti-foaming agents from the Pollution Control Board. “The culvert is at a low level, so the foam instead of flowing into the nala is entering into houses,” said a GHMC official. “We’ve procured anti foaming chemical from PCB for the foam to recede. We used the chemical even on Saturday.”...