Hyderabad: The dewatering of city lakes has unveiled all the plastic that has been dumped into the water bodies, as large swathes of the lakebeds were found to be covered with plastic. Further, cattle have been let out to graze on these lake beds, thereby escalating the danger of them ingesting the plastic.
Despite the obvious menace, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has not constructed fences to prevent people from dumping plastic-laden garbage on the lakebeds. When the issue was brought up with GHMC officials, they blamed citizens for dumping plastic waste in the water bodies.
They said that the citizens’ negligence was evident from the plastic which has surfaced now that the lakes have been dewatered, adding that they found three layers of plastic covering the bed of Rama Krishnapuram after it was dewatered and desilted recently.
Civic body officials claimed that a massive drive will be taken up soon after consulting with higher authorities.
The GHMC recently embarked on the lake development and beautification programme, which involves in bund improvement, strengthening and landscaping. As part of this programme, the corporation has shortlisted 20 lakes for development. This apart, corporation officials have also been demolishing some bunds and surplus weirs.
GHMC officials have dewatered Nalla Cheruvu in Uppal, and the surplus weirs in Hasmathpet Lake and Patel Cheruvu and the bund of Mukkidi Cheruvu in RK Puram have been demolished.
The corporation has managed to construct diversion ducts at all the dewatered lakes and has successfully diverted the upstream contaminated water into downstream water bodies. Due to the delay in the desilting of lakes, the dewatered lakes have become grazing fields for cattle which have been consuming not only the grass that has grown in highly contaminated water but also the immense amounts of plastic deposits found in the lakes. For instance, the corporation has dewatered Nalla Cheruvu in Uppal and diverted the water through a diversion duct This has now become a source of water for cattle. Further, the absence of fencing has been enabling cattle to graze on the lakebeds, thereby increasing the risk of them ingesting plastic along with grass.
GHMC chief engineer (lakes) Kanna Suresh Kumar said, “Surface plastic is a result of human negligence. A massive drive will be carried out against dumping plastic into the lakes.”
When asked why the lakes were not fenced, Mr Kumar said that he would take up the issue immediately and also remove the vendors in the vicinity of water bodies who, according to him, have been the prime source of all the plastic waste....