A choked Gurram Cheruvu leaves Old City flooded

Extensive encroachments noted during inspection

October 18, 2020 11:29 pm | Updated October 19, 2020 10:52 am IST - HYDERABAD

There is no outflow channel for the Gurram Cheruvu that breached the bund and inundated Hafiz Baba Nagar, according to findings of Irrigation department officials who visited the lake in Balapur. All they found was a diminutive sluice through which not even one per cent of flood water could be drained.

While officials are not going on record saying that the lake was encroached, an FIR filed with the Balapur police and later transferred to the Chandrayangutta police station confirms that encroachment attempts had been reported last year.

The complaint was filed by Balapur mandal revenue officer against seven persons who were filling up the lake bed and levelling it using heavy machinery. The persons named in the FIR were Abdulla Saadi, Farooq Saadi, Ali Saadi, Umar Baom, Mohammed Bin Hyder, Hasham and Mustafa, some of them with criminal record.

Google Maps displays the filled up land on the other side of the bund, and rumours are afloat that the lake was breached on purpose to save the encroachment from flooding.

Satellite images from 2014 and 2020 show the extent of encroachment.

Satellite images from 2014 and 2020 show the extent of encroachment.


Pictures don’t lie

The historical images from 2014 and 2017 show abundant water where the ground is levelled now, and even those as recent as November 2019 show some water on the other side.

“It is a clear encroachment, and doubts that the lake was deliberately breached are not without basis,” says Lubna Sarwat, State general secretary of Socialist Party (India), and well known activist for lakes.

Irrigation officials, however, have not confirmed that, and said the lake was already brimming with water owing to the spell of rain up to October 13. The officials have been on the ground trying to drain water through the sluice, with some success, despite vociferous objections from the dwellers downstream.

“We brought the water to safer levels, but before we could heave a sigh of relief, there was another bout of very heavy rain. The bund gave way under the pressure allowing the water to gush forth,” informed an official.

The Gurram Cheruvu is part of a network, which contains Burhan Khan Cheruvu, Balapur Pedda Cheruvu, Venkatapuram Cheruvu and somewhere in the line, the Gurramkani Cheruvu also known as Shukoor Lake.

From Gurram Cheruvu, the outflow channel meets the confluence of outflows from other lakes such as Palle Cheruvu, Salkam Cheruvu and Surram Cheruvu, which are all notified lakes of huge extents. “All these outflow channels meet to make a huge stream of water closer to Al Jubeil and Ghazi-e-Millat Colonies, which were drowned recently. The stream goes on to join Musi river,” explains Ms.Sarwat.

Owing to encroachments in the outflow channel of Balapur Pedda Cheruvu, which empties into Gurram Cheruvu, Nabil Colony is flooded too, she says.

Top News Today


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.