Hyderabad: On November 23, the chief justice of Telangana high court, Justice Satish Chandra Sharma flagged concerns about the odour emanating from Hussain Sagar. “Even though the state government makes tall claims to fight the pollution, I could not stay even for 5 minutes at Hussain Sagar,” he said.
The chief justice isn’t alone in his criticism of the odour which makes the entire surrounding area inhabitable. Residents of Khairatabad, Somajiguda and people living in and around Necklace road have raised similar concerns.
A railway police guard at Necklace road railway station who wished to remain anonymous, laughingly informed this reporter that “while the smell was horrible, he is used to it by now.”
“I am on duty once or twice a week at the railway station and the smell is bad, especially in the mornings before vehicular traffic covers it up. The situation needs repair but everyone is used to it by now,” he added.
The crowd of auto drivers driving across the Necklace road also raised similar concerns. As Mohd Taj, one of the many auto-drivers in the vicinity informed this reporter, “There isn’t much we can do. The smell is so bad that forget humans, even animals won’t consume the water from there.”
Speaking to Siasat.com, noted environmental engineer Sagar Dhara, who was on the Supreme Court committee to look into Hussain Sagar’s condition around 15 years ago, said that additional sewage ending in the lake is contributing to the odour.
“The lake was 20 sqkm a few years ago and facilitated drinking water until 1930. It is currently not more than 5 sqm and is contaminated owing to industries in Patancheruvu area dumping heavy metal and pesticides. This is an age-old problem which neither the Pollution Control Board (PCB) nor the state government has handled up till date.”
When informed about the PCB stating that there is barely any difference in water quality before and after the Ganesh immersion, Dhara said that the PCB does not know what it is talking about.
With the government inaction and the odour intensifying, the future looks bleak for Hussain Sagar and the residents in its surrounding areas.