For the protection of around 185 lakes and water bodies in the city limits, the MA&UD department has appointed a special cell headed by a designated special commissioner. *Representational image: DC)
Hyderabad: The delay in appointing a special commissioner for lakes, as was proposed some time ago, has kept the city waterbodies in serious trouble.
Way back in 2018, the HMDA decided to develop and beautify 40 lakes. Four years hence, the target has not been achieved and officials are blaming the municipal administration and urban development department for the delay. The HMDA says the government has not appointed an officer to monitor the lakes.
At that time, the Telangana government decided to take up the beautification of 20 lakes at an estimated cost of Rs 120 crore. The HMDA claimed that so far 14 works at nine lakes have been completed, 12 works at eight lakes could not be taken up and the works at three lakes are half complete.
Officials said patta landholders have stalled the works at Edula Cheruvu, Pedda Cheruvu in Amberpet, Tondapally Cheruvu in Shamshabad, Pasumamula Cheruvu in Abdullapurmet, Pedda Cheruvu in Keesara, Rampally Cheruvu, Mallampet Cheruvu in Bowrampet, Pedda Cheruvu in Peerzadiguda, Jalpally Tank in Balapur, Nadeem Cheruvu in Ghatkesar and Kuntlur Cheruvu as also some other lakes last year.
Mukkidi lake, also called RK Puram lake, is prone to encroachments.
For the protection of around 185 lakes and water bodies in the city limits, the MA&UD department has appointed a special cell headed by a designated special commissioner. The cell was to be under the control of the principal secretary, MA&UD, as per orders issued by the state government on October 4, 2021.
Despite several meetings, the MA&UD department reportedly did not discuss the protection of lakes nor matters like preventing encroachments nor the appointment of a special officer.
The special commissioner was to be responsible for the comprehensive management of the lakes, which includes preparing a master plan for each waterbody to scientifically manage the water flow and prevent further encroachment. The official was to take up beautification of lakes and increase the green cover in the buffer areas while ensuring the water is cleaned.
It was also stressed, then, that the protection and rejuvenation of lakes can be taken up by also involving corporates under their corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds. However, five months have passed and the officials are yet to find an officer for this post and lakes protection has become a mirage. Meanwhile, the waterbodies are shrinking at an alarming pace.