Dirt on your lung space

Hussainsagar muck to be dumped on People’s Plaza, the open space adjacent to the Hussainsagar.

Hyderabad: People’s Plaza, the open space adjacent to the Hussainsagar that is used for exhibitions, stage performances and during the Sankranti festival, and just a place to hang out at other times for hundreds of families, is being turned into a dumping ground.

The Buddha Purnima wing of the HMDA will shut down all these activities on the four-acre plaza for six months, till May 2014, and convert it into a temporary dumping ground.

According to HMDA officials, non-hazardous dredged material from the Balkapur nala, which empties into the Hussainsagar, will be deposited in pond-like structures that will be dug at the plaza.
The dredged material will be dried in the ponds and shifted to the permanent site at Gajularamaram. The authorities say that the dredged material is harmless and will emit no smell.

“The plaza will be barricaded for that period. Big pond-like structures will be dug to dump the material, which is non-hazardous, as it is only the clay content present in the lake. This is being done as per the regulations of the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Board Control,” said a civic official.

He said that the material does not contain any harmful substance nor will it emit odour. “It is for a short period. The material once dry will immediately be shifted to the permanent site at Gajularamaram.”

The civic authorities are supposed to begin dredging the Balkapur nala in the first week of December. The ponds will be dug before the dredging starts.
Environmentalists say that the exercise is not as harmless as it is made out to be.

Next: Ecologists decry nala dump

Ecologists decry nala dump

Hyderabad: While authorities say that the dredged material from the Balkapur nala will be harmless, environmentalists think otherwise. “The dumped dredged material will definitely be harmful and cause inconvenience to many.

Instead, the civic body can deploy tippers (trucks with open top that can carry wet material) and shift the silt to the permanent dumping yard.” He added that the dredged material should be dumped in a remote area, but People’s Plaza is a “buzzing area and has many visitors who are already bearing the foul smell from the Hussai-nsagar,” M. Veda Kumar, president, Forum for Better Hyderabad, said.

He pointed out that several popular AP tourism projects are located alongside the lake. This decision of HMDA will bring down the footfalls.

S. Jeevananda Reddy, environmental expert, said that the dumped material will pollute the air and six months is a long period to leave it lying around.

“With one downpour the material will reenter the lake. There is no difference if the material is dumped at the site or remains in the lake. Either way, it will pollute the Hussainsagar,” he said.

O.M. Debara, environmental activist, added that it is like taking one step ahead and two steps back. “The HMDA should look for another dumping yard as one rain will push the entire material back into the lake,” he said.

Though the site is being used for six months, the after-effects will be felt for years. In fact, no public place should be used for such activities,” he said.

( Source : dc )
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