Hyderabad: Toxic foam was produced in the Hasmathpet Lake in Bowenpally after a spell of heavy rain at the northern end of the city. Foam spewed out of the Nacharam Cheruvu after the rains on Thursday. The Hasmathpet drains into the Hussainsagar, while the Nacharam Cheruvu drains into the Musi River via the Nalla Cheruvu. Sundaram, a resident of Bharathnagar, where toxic water has begun entering houses adjacent to the canal, said, “The road, which runs across Chilikanagar, Bharathnagar and Indiranagar, has been inundated with water. Foam is entering our homes along with the water.”
It has been a year since the lakes began frothing, but the Pollution Control Board (PCB) seems to have taken no action so far. Varaprasad Banduroju, a resident of Dharaninagar Colony in Kukatpally, which is part of the same catchment area as the Jeedimetla Industrial area, said, “We know that the lake begins to froth with the slightest of rains, so why couldn’t the GHMC or the PCB plan in advance?” The government was supposed to have placed sand bags in the weir area to prevent water from falling from a height and causing frothing.
However, according to sources, tenders for the placement of these sand bags are still in the process of approval. “Why do we need tenders for a disaster management measure? Why isn’t the government serious about controlling pollution?” asked professor Subba Rao, an expert on lakes. The PCB has yet to undertake a systemic study of the five lakes in the city. Organisations such as the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and the Environment Protection Training and Research Institute (EPTRI) have not addressed the issue either.
It was only last month that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered NEERI, Bangalore, to study the frothing of Bellandur Lake. However, despite the existence of a similar situation in Hyderabad, the institute has not initiated any measures to either study or control it. "If the PCB asks us to conduct a study, we will initiate one," said Shaikh Basha, the head of NEERI, Hyderabad. Kumar Pathak, an executive engineer from the PCB, said, "The PCB is only a regulatory body. We have instructed the GHMC to place sand bags, and we can't do anything more."
East catchment area includes the Nacharam Industrial Area, where chemical factories are located
- in Nalla Cheruvu frothing first reported by locals in June 2017
- in Nacharam Cheruvu, which flows into the Musi River, frothing reported in September 2017
West catchment area includes Jeedimetla Industrial Area)
- Parkhi Cheruvu, which flows into the Hussain Sagar frothing first reported in Sep 2016
Central catchment area includes the sewage lines of several residential colonies, piggeries and dairy farms
- In Hasmathpet, which flows into the Hussain Sagar frothing first reported in August 2017
In RK Puram Cheruvu frothing first reported in July 2017
South catchment area includes the sewage lines of several residential colonies
- In Ibrahimbagh Cheruvu, which flows into the Musi River, frothing first reported in September 2016