Hyderabad: Kapra Cheruvu or Oora Cheruvu as it is known, is once again becoming a victim of official apathy. A part of the lake is being filled up on the pretext of preparing for Ganesh immersions.
The filling, which has been taken up officially, is going on in full swing. Four JCBs are dumping earth in the FTL of the Kapra Lake. Nearly 15 lorries of mud, along with fine concrete, have been dumped in the lake bed in the last two days.
GHMC officials and staff, including the deputy commissioner of the Kapra circle, were seen supervising the filling work. When contacted, the deputy commissioner said, “It is a temporary filling and is being taken up by the irrigation department, not GHMC, for Ganesh immersions. As soon as the immersions are done, the mud will be removed.”
But contrary to what the officials claim, immersion is going on 10-15 metres from where the mud is being dumped and many people have already performed the nimajjan.
While officials state that the filling was only for Ganesh immersion, activists said that this was the pattern in which encroachment took place around the lake.
“It is a land reclaiming activity, which has been going on for ages. This isn’t the first time that land is being filled in the name of facilitating Ganesh immersion. Look at the kind of filling that is happening; it looks like they are laying a foundation. It is not easy to remove this filling,” said Satish Roshan, a resident of the area and an activist associated with Save Our Urban Lakes.
“Unfortunately this is happening at the behest of government authorities. The lake has been full of weeds but nothing has been done,” complained Deepa Kapoor, a resident of the area.
No rise in water level after rains
While Hyderabad has seen nearly one week of heavy rains in September, the water level of the Kapra Lake hasn’t improved.
The encroachments in the lake’s FTL and subsequent blocking of inflows have thwarted filling up of the lake.
Residents of the area said that the water levels have been visibly decreasing over the last few years as encroachments have become rampant.
Also, at several places around the lake, soil has been dumped to fill the boundaries, thereby blocking any chance for water storage.
Apart from apathetic treatment in terms of encroachment, water hyacinth too is threatening the health of the lake.
The Gangaputra community has stated that the neglect of the authorities has caused massive invasion of water hyacinth and their livelihood of fishing is being threatened because of the same.
“We spoke to the GHMC commissioner just a few days ago about protection of the lake. We were assured that the fencing of the lake would be done to stop any further damage,” said Mr Ravinder, a member of the community.
Residents are hopeful that as assured by GHMC officials, lake cleaning activities will be taken up once the Ganesh immersions are over....