Move follows dumping of dredged material from Hussainsagar lake at Gajularamaram

The Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) has served a show- cause notice on the dumping of dredged material from Hussainsagar lake at Gajularamaram on the city outskirts by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) and called for a hearing on the issue on December 20.

The dredging exercise taken up as part of the cleaning of Hussainsagar lake last year has been facing issues over dumping the dredged material after the initial choice of Jawaharnagar dump yard was opposed. Finally, after much scouting, a site at Gajularamaram was selected and dumping commenced here couple of months ago.

However, following complaints that prescribed procedures were not being followed for dumping of the dredged sediment, a team of PCB officials visited the site and a notice was served. According to the board officials, the inspecting team found flagrant violations of norms particularly related to laying of the required lining at the site to prevent leachate.

“The work at this site was taken up after obtaining all required permissions and no-objections. The contractors insist that the guidelines were being followed and required details would be communicated to the PCB in response to the notice,” HMDA Member (Environment), R.P. Khajuria said.

The dredging material from Hussainsagar being shifted to Gajularamaram happens to be the one collected from points of the water body that were identified as non-hazardous. The initiative aims at dredging at the inlets of Balkapur nala, Banjara nala, Picket nala and Kukatpally nala and scoop out nearly 12 lakh tonnes of sediment.

While the work on the first three inlets commenced in the first phase, the dredging at Kukatpally nala inlet would be taken up at a later stage and dumped separately as sediments here were found to contain high levels of hazardous cadmium. A study earlier this year had shown 18 of the 30 sediment samples had presence of cadmium levels higher than acceptable.

So far, 1.60 lakh cubic meters of the sediment has been dredged from the Hussainsagar and after drying up at temporary site, was being shifted to Gajularamaram in batches.

According to officials, around 30,000 cubic metre of dredged material was already moved to the dumping site, HMDA officials explained.

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