Hyderabad: The nodal agencies including Musi Riverfront Development Corporation (MRDC), Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA), and Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) will most likely continue to pollute the city’s water bodies for at least another three years. MRDC officials who have embarked on the lake cleaning project said they were receiving neither financial support nor co-operation from other departments.
Officials claimed that even if the government does release funds immediately, treating sewerage water by constructing sewerage treatment plants (STPs) will take a minimum of three years. They also claimed that the operation and maintenance of the STPs will cost three times the price of treating drinking water. The HMWSSB has been spending `1,100 crores towards treating drinking water and has to spend another `3,000 crores annually just to treat sewerage water.
Under the Mission Kakatiya programme, the GHMC, HMDA, and MRDC have identified 40 lakes for restoration in their respective jurisdictions. These works are to be carried out within a budget of `441 crore.
While 20 lakes fall within GHMC limits, the rest fall under HMDA limits — all within the Outer Ring Road (ORR). The GHMC has identified Fox Sagar, Jeedimetla, Nalla Cheruvu, Uppal, Mohini Cheruvu, Amberpet, and Cherlapally Tank among others. And while the civic body will execute the rejuvenation works, the MRDC will supervise the same.
The restoration of the 20 lakes has been estimated to cost `282 crores, including the cost of developing bicycle tracks, walking tracks, and open gyms. This apart, lake beds will be improved, and the dry weather flow will be diverted among other works.
A senior MRDC official said that although the diversion of contaminated water from one water body to another implies violation of human rights, they see no other choice.
“The HMWSSB cannot construct 40 STPs and continue to maintain them consistently as a task of that magnitude demands huge (and continued) monetary investment. Besides, it has become extremely difficult for the corporation to find places to construct STPs. Further, other factors like the fund crunch and the lack of support from the GHMC, HMDA, revenue, and PCB has further delayed the lake cleaning project in the city,” the official explained.
He said that the corporation has started dewatering the lakes and that sewerage water will be diverted via intersections and diversions which will be constructed at every lake.
Arrangements will be made only to allow stormwater in lakes, while sewage water will be diverted to temporary box drains, he said.
The official added that they have been answering all questions pertaining to the NGT and regarding the diversion of contaminated water, and said that they will soon expound the practical issues hindering the lake improvement and beautification project. He said that the Nalla Cheruvu has already been dewatered, with intersections, diversions, and a box drain of 400 metres length all in place....