Hyderabad

Efforts to restore Fox Sagar

Volunteers clearing up debris and garbage at Fox Sagar lake on the outskirts of Hyderabad on Saturday.

Volunteers clearing up debris and garbage at Fox Sagar lake on the outskirts of Hyderabad on Saturday.  

Fox Sagar lake, known as Jeedimetla or Kolla lake, and its surroundings may see better days soon, thanks to the clean up drive taken up by World Wide Fund for Nature in association with Telangana State Special Protection Force.

The lake spread over 2 sq km and in the vicinity of Kompally is believed to be the second biggest lake in the city after Hussain Sagar and used to be a popular picnic spot, particularly for bird watchers. But as is the case with other lakes in the city, this too had fallen on bad times with mounds of garbage, encroachments in the partly dried up lake bed and toxic waste from the industries nearby seeping into it.

The WWF-India, Hyderabad office which has adopted the Fox Sagar lake for restoration initiated a clean up drive involving citizens. “This is the third such attempt to clean up the Fox Lake area in the recent months,” said its State director Farida Tampal.

Volunteers

On Saturday morning, an army of 200 people descended on the lake area and worked for four hours from 6 a.m. About 100 tonnes of waste, consisting mainly of medical and industrial waste was removed and loaded into Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) trucks.

Besides WWF State office, 40 SPF personnel and officers, about 100 students and three teachers of Gitanjali Senior Schools, volunteers from St. Francis Degree College, ICFAI Law School and 80 conservancy workers of the GHMC joined hands for the clean up under the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan. The Irrigation Department too stepped in to tackle the water hyacinth and engaged an agency to remove it.

Public awareness

“The lake restoration can happen only through creating public awareness and proper solid waste disposal to protect the water bodies,” Ms. Farida said.

The suggestion about restoration of Fox Sagar lake came from Director-General of Telangana State Special Protection Force Tejdeep Kaur Menon, who had taken up the restoration of Ameenpur Lake, Ms.Farida said.

Biodiversity study

The lake is being polluted through flow of domestic sewage from one side and illegal dumping of medical and industrial waste during night though some fishing activity also goes on on one side of the lake, the members who took part in the initiative said.

The WWF State office got a grant from the Ram Jethmalani Foundation for the Fox Sagar lake clean up and it will study the lake’s biodiversity and enhance it by curbing pollution by sensitising residential welfare associations and alerting government agencies to keep a vigil against illegal dumping of waste, Ms.Farida said. “It is a two-year initiative though it may take longer to restore the lake’s biodiversity.”

As part of the initiative, WWF also proposed do a study on biodiversity of lakes in Hyderabad as there is no such data available and urge the Telangana government to formulate wetland management policy for the State, WWF sources said.

A Sewage Treatment Plant in the area and night patrolling to curb menace of dumping of industrial and medical waste during nights are some measures needed to protect the lake, volunteers, who participated in the drive, say.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 6:02:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/efforts-to-restore-fox-sagar/article20241010.ece

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