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Hussainsagar Water Quality Deteriorates Despite Efforts

DECCAN CHRONICLE | Aarti Kashyap

Published on: June 6, 2023 | Updated on: June 6, 2023

The PCB accessed water at nine points in the lake and found high levels of pollutants such as coliform, faecal coliform, high electrical conductivity, increased biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), low level of dissolved oxygen (DO), indicating poor health. (File Image: DC)

Hyderabad: For all the efforts at keeping it clean, pollution has increased in the past four months in the Hussainsagar and the water quality has degraded, according to the latest report of the Pollution Control Board.

This comes on the back of renewed tourist interest in the lake, such as the musical fountain, and its surrounding where the new Secretariat and the giant statue of Dr B.R. Ambedkar were inaugurated and the Telangana Martyrs Memorial is getting ready. Besides, there is the summer rush of tourists.

The PCB accessed water at nine points in the lake and found high levels of pollutants such as coliform, faecal coliform, high electrical conductivity, increased biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), low level of dissolved oxygen (DO), indicating poor health.

The PCB assessed the water quality at the outlet near the GHMC HQ, the outlet at Marriott Hotel, PVNR Marg (Necklace Road), Opposite NTR Garden, Tank Bund, midstream Buddha Statue, Sanjeevaiah Park, Boat Club and near Khairatabad STP.

Except for the midstream Buddha statue, the other points showed high levels of coliform of 1,600 most probable number (MPN). The GHMC office and Boats Club points had the highest faecal coliform of 350 MPN, making them the most polluted zones. Electrical conductivity was highest at PVNR Marg (Necklace Road) at 1,693 microsiemens per centimetre.

Low DO and high BOD levels showed that the water was in poor health and oxygen levels were depleting. The water also had high levels of total dissolved solids (TDS) which means the water has high levels of salt, metals and minerals in the water with pH level above 7, making the water alkaline in nature.

Experts raised serious concerns over the untreated sewage water which was released in the lake ,citing it as the main reason for the pollution.

Dr B.V. Subba Rao, environmentalist and member technical of Water Domain, Bureau of Indian Standards, told Deccan Chronicle, said, "Hussainsagar needs catchment sanitation and strict regulation of the catchment area. How do we reorient the urban planning is the most important thing."

He said an assessment of the saturation levels and the carrying capacity of the lake was essential before any development activity could be planned in the catchment area of the lake. "Our urban planning is devoid of hydrology and there are gaps in the system that need to be filled. A study and environmental assessment and a regional plan are needed to clean and protect the lake," Dr Subba Rao said.

Experts also said that since raw faecal matter was being released in the lake, it indicated that the city did not have enough STPs for sewerage treatment.

"Hussainsagar was a part of flood regulating system and continues to receive waste water from those channels. We need to have municipal sewerage systems which are linked to STPs.," said public policy expert and environmentalist Donthi Narasimha Reddy.