Rain floods Hyderabad zoo; officials struggle with choked ponds

Hyderabad: Owing to heavy rainfall over the past two weeks in the city, the Nehru Zoological Park has been flooded with rainwater which has been flowing into the zoo from the adjoining Mir Alam tank. The situation was so severe that officials had to use motor pumps to remove excess water from the premises.  

While water entering the zoo is nothing new during the monsoons, this time however, the premises was badly affected as the Mir Alam Tank overflowed inside. Officials had to be engaged as and when it rained heavily, given that the excess rain water was gushing into the zoo’s premises. Officials feared that the rain water would enter animal enclosures.

In the past, at least once in a year the Safari Park complex would be closed temporarily due to heavy inflows of rain water from the Mir Alam tank. “The tank is filled with rainwater and excess water is entering the zoo from the Safari Complex side and is flowing into the Singoji pond and other ponds. This water has overflown over the bunds,” sources from the zoo informed. 

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An official from the zoo, who did not want to be quoted, also informed that the Mir Alam tank falls under the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation ’s (GHMC) jurisdiction. It is their work to desilt the tank and maintain it. Several representations were given to the GHMC and committee meetings related to issue were also held, but still there is no relief for the zoo,” he added. 

During the ongoing spate of heavy rains, increased water inflow into the zoo has resulted in water hyacinths and other wastage entering into the zoo’s premises.  “Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the zoo is closed for the public and if it were open, the Safari would have been shut anyway as in previous years,” said the official. 

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The water of the historic Mir Alam lake, which passes through its inlets is stagnating near the zoo’s Safari. “The works to clear the wastage and other obstructions are going on to facilitate the speedy drain of water from the premises, to prevent stagnation.”

The Nehru Zoological Park is also likely to reopen next month. However, there is no exact date given as of now by the state government, as the zoo authorities are waiting for instructions from the central government. 

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