Volunteers of SOUL highlight ‘decay and decomposition’ of Hamed Khan Kunta
“Think globally, act locally”, the popular environmental slogan was put into practice by volunteers of city-based NGO, Save Our Urban Lakes (SOUL), when they utilised the forum provided by CoP 11of CBD here to highlight the “decay and decomposition” of Hamed Khan Kunta, locally known as Banjara lake.
A note found among the sheaf of papers and publications from various organisations drew the attention of the delegates to the poor state of the lake, ironically, “the only one to be adopted by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests in Andhra Pradesh under its National Lake Conservation Programme”.
The note says the lake was “dying” owing to “neglect and sabotage” by the very regulatory authorities that are mandated to “rejuvenate and rehabilitate” the water body in the heart of the city that was once the pride of local communities and Fisheries Department. It points out that 70 per cent of total funds for a project for rejuvenation of this lake was sanctioned by the Union Environment Ministry and spent by AP Tourism Department. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board and the abutting five-star hotel have been dumping debris and waste on the banks shrinking the area.
Sewerage flows into the lake making it a stagnant pool generating a stench. SOUL claims Rs. 2 crore was spent on creating a ‘structure’ and laying of a drainage pipe that do not function. A contractor was permitted to construct a concrete platform on the lake bed choking the lake. It ends by appealing to delegates to visit the site and see the ground reality.