Hyderabad: The government’s attempt to dewater city lakes could affect replenishment of aquifers and leave the city short of groundwater in the summer. The lakes are being dewatered for Mission Kakatiya.
Experts like Dr B.V. Subba Rao said lakes are the best for continuous replenishment of the aquifers. Since water was not allowed into the lakes, the city could face a difficult summer.
“The government and its civic bodies have been bleeding the city dry by dewatering the lakes. The city cannot collect more rainwater that has run off from the roads,” Dr Rao told Deccan Chronicle.
He added that the city was facing a problem of severe inundation problem because the nalas that feed into the lakes have been blocked.
The lakes are being starved at a time when a report from the Niti Aayog, a government think tank, has noted that Hyderabad is among the cities that would run out of groundwater by 2020. The current rate of exploitation in the Hyderabad district is over 300 per cent. An official from the Telangana State Ground Water Directorate said that the average rate of exploitation in Hyderabad district was 341 per cent. In the worst-affected Shaikpet, the rate of withdrawal is 692 per cent.
The work at Kapra and RK Puram lakes started in March and was to be completed within six months. In reality, only the desilting has been taking place. The bund has been half built at both lakes.
Despite the excess rain and prolonged monsoon, the lakes do not have water as all the inlets have been sealed. The inlets were opened only two days ago to allow the water that was inundating upstream colonies, but that is not enough to fill the lakes.Work at the Kapra lake has also been stalled as a builder, Mr Bal Reddy, has approached court and obtained a stay order. This is leading to anxiety amongst the residents and nearby colonies as they allege that the lake will be encroached.
Another problem that plagues groundwater is that of contamination.
As per the findings of a study published in the journal of Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, the people from Telangana state are vulnerable to dental and skeletal fluorosis due to the intake of high fluoride content in drinking water.
“There are a couple of conditions while considering rainwater harvesting. Firstly, rainwater should not go into it directly, secondly filtered water should go into the ground otherwise it will contaminate the groundwater. After that there should not be any kind of chemicals mixed into the water, but since the water is lying in filth on the roads, even the water underground would be polluted,” said Dr Rao.
This study had revealed that 31 per cent in the pre-monsoon and 80 per cent of the post-monsoon groundwater sampling showed 1.5 to 4 mg per litre of fluoride content in the state.
A considerable amount of fluoride enters the human body through drinking water and excess fluoride can be toxic for health....