Nation Other News 08 Dec 2021 GHMC’s lake pr ...

GHMC’s lake protection turns handy for land sharks

Published Dec 8, 2021, 8:42 am IST
Updated Dec 8, 2021, 8:42 am IST
Diversion of contaminated water violation of human rights, says activists
GHMC official says they would divert contaminated water in to other water bodies. (Representational image: DC)
 GHMC official says they would divert contaminated water in to other water bodies. (Representational image: DC)

HYDERABAD: Unscientific and irrational methods used by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) in what it calls lake improvement programme is giving scope to land sharks to encroach upon the lake bed and construct illegal structures at their will.  

The civic authorities are dewatering and reconstructing surplus weirs in scores of city lakes as part of their plan to develop water bodies within its limits, but in fact it is resulting in contamination of water bodies downstream leading to the Musi river and also construction of illegal structures.


Already, several illegal structures have come up on the lake beds of Nalla Cheruvu, Yellamma Cheruvu, RK Puram and others as the authorities demolished surplus weirs but never restored them due to their negligence.

The corporation has been releasing highly contaminated water in city lakes to downstream water bodies leading in to Musi River. The civic body embarked on lake improvement and bund strengthening programme in 20 lakes during the first phase with an estimated cost of Rs 279.78 crore.

Though illegal structures are coming up on the lake beds and downstream water bodies are contaminated due to the indiscriminate release of water, the civic officials say that dewatering and demolition of surplus weirs are the only possible way to protect city lakes. Environment activists argue that diverting contaminated water from one place to another is sheer violation of human rights.


It may be mentioned here that following the High Court orders, the state government directed the civic body to take up lake development and beautification programme, which involves bund strengthening and landscaping. The corporation shortlisted 20 lakes and decided to develop them in 2018. However, the corporation officials, instead of strengthening the bunds, are demolishing the bunds and surplus weirs. Surprisingly, the civic authorities have not restored the demolished bunds, leading to construction of numerous structures in the full tank levels (FTL) of the lakes.The GHMC officials already dewatered of Nalla Cheruvu in Uppal, demolished surplus weirs in Hasmathpet lake and Patel Cheruvu and demolished the bund of Mukkidi Cheruvu in RK Puram. A senior GHMC official said in order to save lakes, the corporation had no other way but to demolish the surplus weirs and bunds to divert highly contaminated water which was stagnated over several years. When asked about the illegal structures in the FTL areas of the lakes, the official said it was an ill effect of the programme and could not be addressed since those buildings were constructed by influential people.


However, terming the dewatering and diversion of contaminated water from one lake to another as violation of Human Rights and Irrigation Act, B.V. Subba Rao, an environmental activist said engineers working on lake development programme in city do know about the status of water contamination in the city water bodies.

"How do engineers deputed by the irrigation department know about the ground reality of water contamination and hazards of diverting it in to downstream villages? The state government should depute environmental engineers who understand the problem in the first place prior to providing a solution," he said. Subba Rao said diversion of contaminated water into downstream water bodies will further aggravate the problem. He said a large number of encroachments came up at all dewatered lake beds.



Patel Cheruvu, Amber Cheruvu, Boin Cheruvu , Malka Cheruvu, Pedda Cheruvu (Chinna Cheruvu) (Rajendra Nagar/Gandipet), Pedda Cheruvu (Serilingampally), Cherlapally Tank, Mukkudi Cheruvu, Oora Cheruvu, Anthagani Kunta, Pedda Cheruvu (Saroornagar), Maddela Kunta, Mohini Cheruvu, Nalla Cheruvu, Fox Sagar, Surram Cheruvu, Raisamudram Cheruvu, Large Tank (Saroornagar) and Mir-Alam Tank.

Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad