This year's theme for World Water Day, “Water for cities – responding to the urban challenge”, is the centre of focus in Andhra Pradesh.

World Water Day is observed internationally on March 22, every year. This is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro. Every year the United Nations Organisation sets forth a theme for the day. This year's theme is “Water for cities – responding to the urban challenge”.

Every city around the world is facing a severe water crisis and there are many related problems that have cropped up. Solutions are being found and they are being implemented, to improve the quality of life in urban areas.

Water issues

Did you know the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad have their own water related issues, which is being dealt with by the local authorities? The erstwhile HUDA identified 500 water bodies in and around the twin cities. These water bodies vary in size and are faced with many problems.

“In 2010 the Lake Protection Committee was set up to look into the various issues of the water bodies in and around the city. The Green Hyderabad Involvement Project identified 87 water bodies which have been separated into three categories, on the basis of the severity of pollution in them,” reports Mr Sunil Kumar Gupta, Member Environment of HMDA.

“The Lakes Protection Committee has earmarked immediate steps to be taken to restore many of these lakes in the urban areas. Action is already underway in many of these lakes and very soon we hope to have clean water in all of them,” continues Mr Gupta.

The Hussainsagar lake, the pride of the twin cities, is prime on the list of lake protection and restoration. The Sewage Treatment Plants set up to clean the water are already effective and the nalas that drain into this lake have been diverted. Very soon we hope to have extremely clean water in the Hussain Sagar lake.

The Osman Sagar and the Himayat Sagar Lakes provide drinking water to various parts of the twin cities.

Serious steps are being taken to protect these two lakes so that we can continue to depend on them for our drinking water.

“A lot of restoration work is happening in and around other lakes like the Durgam Cheruvu, the Mir Alam tank, the Safilguda Lake and the Langerhouz lake, to name just a few,” adds Mr Gupta.

The water is being purified and parks are being maintained around the lakes. At some places the Tourism Department has set up a boating facility and developed it into a picnic spot.

We as the young citizens of the city have to be aware of the issues and have to help the authorities in implementing remedial solutions to solve the problems. Pollution of our water bodies through garbage dumping and sewage is one major problem.

Encroachment into the lake area for housing is another serious problem.

The young of the cities must join hands to help keep the lake waters clean.

Keywords: World Water Day