The Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) has identified the existing quarry pits at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) campus as a possible site for dumping the sediment being dredged from the Hussainsagar Lake.
Consultations were on with the university authorities and the A.P Pollution Control Board (APPCB) on the issue. “These quarry pits are located at the extreme backside of the campus towards Gowlidoddi village-Gopanpally. They are big and can easily accommodate around four lakh cubic metre of the dried sediment,” said an official.
The HMDA which initiated the work at Hussainsagar Lake with plans of shifting the sediment to Jawaharnagar dumpsite was forced to look for alternative sites after objections from the Ranga Reddy district administration.
Ranga Reddy district Collector A.Vani Prasad said the plan to dump Hussainsagar waste at Jawaharnagar was dropped, as local people and the legislator were protesting against such a move, because it was feared it would further pollute the already polluted groundwater.
Further, there was a letter from HMDA seeking alternative sites for the dumping, after which a few sites were suggested to the agency. The site near University of Hyderabad was zeroed in during this process.
The dredging exercise forms part of the Hussainsagar Lake and Catchment Area Improvement Project taken up with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) funds.
“The sediment is nutrient rich and completely non-hazardous. It looks just like soil and suits well for filling and rehabilitating pits inside the campus,” said HMDA Member Environment R. P. Khajuria.
Analysis had already shown the sediment presently being dredged to be safe with no presence of any chemical beyond the permissible limits.
Mr. Khajuria sought to allay misconceptions about the dumping of the sediment. “This is not solid waste as collected and dumped by the municipality. The sediment is safe and once rehabilitated, the dumping site can be developed well with plants and greenery,” he explained.
The quarry pits at the campus were jointly inspected by HMDA and PCB officials and the matter was being pursued with the university.
A total of four inlets to Hussainsagar would be subjected to dredging with work already initiated at Picket nala to be followed by Banjara and Balkapur nalas.
Given the presence of toxic sediment at the inlet from Kukatpally, this would be initiated in the last phase and only after a separate and standalone dump site is identified for it.
Dredging exercise part of Hussainsagar Lake and Catchment Area Improvement Project