Dilapidated Katora Houz Lake turns landfill, poses life risk to residents

HYDERABAD: The Katora Houz Lake on the Golconda Fort premises is a picture of utter neglect, turning into a mini landfill and giving out a pungent smell as it dies a slow death in its wait for a revival, as most of the lake has dried

A large portion of the tank, including the steps, has collapsed over the years, with the entrance, filled with debris, the only stand-alone structure currently standing.

The waterbody was built in the Qutb Shahi Era, in the 1500s, and is a monument protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as it is a part of the Golconda Fort.

Locals say that people living in the vicinity dump garbage in and around the lake, with the GHMC workers setting the piles of garbage afire instead of cleaning it.

Md Nadeem, whose residence is located adjacent to the wall of the lake, said, “I have complained several times to the GHMC to put a fence around the lake to restrict people from throwing garbage into the lake, but to no avail. Because of the foul smell and mosquitoes, I had to make separate arrangements for my ailing father, at my brother’s place away from here, as the filth compounded health concerns.”

Residents also raised concerns over a lack of barricading. A woman who lives
in the vicinity said it poses a life risk to children and that she had to keep a constant eye on her kids to ensure they did not go near the lake to play.

Md Ahmed, a shopkeeper, said customers stopped visiting his store over the
past year due to the foul smell, with no end in sight to the issue.

Meanwhile, ASI officials said they will start restoring the lake next week.

“We will first start with the restoration of the steps and the peripheral structure of the lake. Fencing will also be put up around the lake to restrict people from dumping garbage in the waterbody. Post the restoration, we will look into cleaning part of the lake,” an official said.

GHMC officials said they were unaware of the ground situation and would try
to address it.

P. Anuradha Reddy, co-convenor of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) said, “In the early ages, water from Durgam Cheruvu filled the Katora Houz tank, but it now lies in a poor state. GHMC must divert sewage from the tank so that the septic waste does not enter the lake. We look forward to the restoration of the lake by ASI.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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