Hyderabad: Dry lakes have forced the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to dig borewells at immersion ponds meant for Ganesh visarjan. But even these have to be dug as deep as 400 feet, causing residents to worry that their groundwater level would reduce further.
Municipal officials have begun reviving 23 ponds across the city. Borewells have been dug at Cherla-pally, Nalla Cheruvu, Kapra lake, Nagole among others. Some were dug last year.
The irrigation department emptied the lakes but this season’s rainfall has just wet the ground, leaving just scattered patches of water. It was not enough to fill even the immersion tanks. To top that, municipal officials emptied whatever water was left in the lakes and desilted the ponds. Bore-wells are now dug in two lake to refill their tanks for the festival.
The stormwater drain and sewage have been diverted from the lakes. Water alre-ady in the lake is polluted, rendering it unfit for use.
Housing colonies around the lakes depend on the Manjeera as well as borewells for domestic consumption.
An empty lake and scanty rain has forced residents to increase their dependence on ground water. Residents are divided with one group upset over the usage of ground water, and others asserting that these measures have to be taken for the festival.
Vimal Madan wondered: “Strange that a borewell is dug up to fill up the immersion pond when lake water can be pumped in. When the government itself is worried about the depleting undergroundwater table, how was this digging permitted?”
Some people are against using underground water to fill up the immersion pond. But others were relieved, seeing this as a viable solution for the Ganesh immersion. “It’s a step in the right direction since many lakes were drained for long-term restoration,” said Deepa Shailender of Kapra. “It’s a fait accompli, as there is no other way for the Ganapathi visarjan, as many will not consider doing colony visarjan.” That the borewell had to be dug till 400 feet was evidence of a low water table, upsetting residents. Municipal officials ruled out using treated water for visarjan, for cultural sentiment.