Hyderabad lakes drying up, experts say critical times ahead


23 December 2022

HYDERABAD: While pollution of lakes in the city is a serious issue, 30 lakes within the city limits have gone dry and some have been encroached upon and disappeared, raising serious concerns about the preservation and existence of these water bodies.

According to the latest report of the Pollution Control Board, 30 of the city's 185 lakes were reported to have gone dry in August, with two lakes identified as encroached and the other two as non-existent. Lakes in Shaikpet, Kukatpally, Medchal-Malkajgiri, and Qutubullapur were the most affected, according to the PCB report.

Four lakes in Shaikpet and Kukatpally have dried up as also six in Medchal-Malkajgiri and eight in Quthbullapur. The report stated that two lakes, Mangalavani Kunta in Hafeezpet and Thouthu Kunta in Khajaguda, were non-existent, while Khanamet lake in Khanamet and Masjid Banda lake in Kondapur were encroached upon.

Gurram Cheruvu, which had caused major floods in the Old City region in recent years, was also declared dry, which was also questionable.

Environmentalists voiced concerns about water bodies drying up or becoming non-existent, citing encroachment as the primary cause. "The city has received excess rainfall up to 35% this year and at least twice it has witnessed flood in this monsoon season, then how come we have deserts within the city," wondered B.V.Subba Rao, technical member of Water Domain, Bureau of Indian Standards.

The main factors of lakes drying up are diversion and blocking of inflow rainwater from the lakes, encroachment on lake areas, and breaking of the surplus weir that holds water in the lakes, he stated.
"One needs to understand that most of the city lakes are chain lakes," city environmentalist D.Narsimha Reddy remarked of the environmental impact of city lakes drying up. With these reservoirs of water drying up, the future looks grim for Hyderabad. With lakes drying up and rampant concretization, the temperature in those areas will rise as these lakes play a major role in maintaining the micro-climate of the surrounding area. In addition, flooding and inundation will increase and many more areas in the city will go under water during heavy rains,” he added.

Dried up lakes:

Shaikpet: Thummala Kunta, Vatti Kunta, Kotha Kunta, Chiran Kunta

Kukatpally: Kindi Kunta, Bhimuni Kunta, Nalla Cheruvu, Kaithalapur Kunta

Mechal-Malkajigiri: Mysamma Kunta, Bison Kunta, Kowkur, Bhavaninagar, Gopal Tank-Lothakunta, Kowkur Cheruvu

HMT Lake, Kotha Kunta, Dodlavani Kunta, Kalmanna Kunta, Jangum Bandam, Bogamdani Kunta, Pedda Bandam, Panthal Cheruvu

Non-existent lakes:

Mangalavani Kunta, Hafeezpet, Thouthu Kunta, Khajaguda

Encroached lakes:

Khanamet lake in Khanamet and Masjid Banda lake in Kondapur

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