Hyderabad: At a time when sanitation should be the topmost priority, given that the city has been dealing with devastating floods, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) itself has been found dumping waste into the Hakimpet kunta (lake). The civic body’s action, apart from being a violation, has also is a serious health hazard for those living in the lake’s vicinity.
On Wednesday, when this reporter visited the lake, piles of rotting waste was being dumped in the water body, which was once an important water source. The Hakimpet Kunta is situated at the stretch between Filmnagar and Shaikpet, on the road that leads towards Jubilee Hills.
The Hakimpet Kunta, which has become notorious as a major mosquito-breeding ground, has literally been turned into a garbage dump by the GHMC. With plenty of residential layouts coming up in and around Hakimpet area, waste, mud, debris, and damaged furniture of flood-hit victims was being dumped in it. Authorities however said that they are dumping in the only temporarily. “We will move it to the processing site later,” said a GHMC official.
However, the dumping activity undertaken by the authorities has resulted in water was flowing out of the lake, forcing residents of the nearby Nizam and Sabza colony to build their own temporary embankments to keep water out. In the floods that transpired two weeks ago, it was water mixed with sewage from the Hakimpet Kunta that added to the agony of nearby residents at Tolichowki.
The walled railing on the south-eastern side of the lake has been torn down to facilitate dumping.
Former-convener of Save Our Urban Lakes (SOUL), Lubna Sarwath, said that the lake was a channel network to prevent flooding in the area. “The reduction in carrying capacity of these lakes by dumping is one of the main reasons for frequent flooding in that area,” she added.
“The water is not receding in our area. If the Hakimpet Kunta had not shrunk, the flood would not have lasted so long. In future to avoid flooding, the GHMC should protect the lake and repair its channels. Instead the GHMC itself is dumping more into the lake which may cause flooding again in the coming days” said, a resident of Tolichowki, Mohd Asif Hussain Sohail, who is also a social activist.
Encroachments into the Tank’s (FTL) coupled with the official inaction has led to the growing number of residential colonies in the area. Even in the notified lakes, the authorities have reduced the FTL limits. As a result, several colonies like Nadeem Colony, Chhabra, Ahmed Colony, Nizam Colony and other surrounding areas get inundated every year.
Hakimpet Kunta (ID number 3903) is one of the lakes identified for conservation by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) in 2014. However, despite official action, which included the lake’s Full Tank Level getting notified officially, nothing seems to have changed on the ground for its protection.