Foam in RK Puram lake triggers scare

White froth flowing out of a pipe near the RK Puram lake.

White froth flowing out of a pipe near the RK Puram lake.   | Photo Credit: K.V.S. GIRI

Residents of nearby localities complain of polluted groundwater, skin problems

Once a pride of the local community, the Ramakrishnapuram or RK Puram lake has now turned “toxic” giving jitters to the residents. Since the past few days, foam has been appearing in the lake leading to speculation that chemical effluents, from a nearby industrial unit, might have been dumped in the water body. With froth flying in the air and pungent smell emanating, some residents of the 20-odd colonies surrounding the lake have complained of health problems. Their biggest concern is the possible percolation of the polluted lake water into the ground.

Chemical smell

“We have been using borewell water for domestic purposes for more than two decades and never had any problem,” said Phani, a scientist with the DRDO and a local resident. “My wife and daughter got rashes on the skin two days ago after using the water. The colour of the water too has changed to red. Since the borewell water is also having a strong chemical smell, we think that the groundwater is polluted.”

A few walkers in the area said they experienced watery eyes on Tuesday morning after venturing out. Domestic sewage of various residential colonies located around the lake also are let out into it.

A retired employee residing in Devinagar, T. Madhusudhana Rao, had recently complained about foul smell emanating from his three-decade-old well. “I complained to the authorities about the smell. The workers checked the manholes and drainage connection and told me that it is likely that polluted lake water was entering the well. I feel that the chemicals in the lake have polluted the well in the area,” said Mr. Rao.

Meanwhile, the local residents are upset with the indifferent attitude of the concerned officials.

“Despite lodging complaints with the Pollution Control Board and the GHMC, no official from any of these departments came to the lake. We took samples and plan to hand it over to the officials on Wednesday,” B.T. Srinivasan, activist and president of Devinagar Residents Welfare Association said. According to him, the foam is from a toxic sewage run-off and is caused by high content of ammonia and phosphate.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 11:43:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/foam-in-rk-puram-lake-triggers-scare/article19156403.ece

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