Green scourge plagues Safilguda lake

Disappearing beauty: Safilguda lake filled with water hyacinth.   | Photo Credit: RAMAKRISHNA G

People visiting the mini tank bund at Safilguda lake in Neredmet area witness a verdant spectacle every day.

The spectacle is provided neither by the massive trees lining the lake’s banks nor by the landscaping done by HMDA on the lake bund, but by the water hyacinth weed spread all over the lake with not an inch of respite.

Proliferation of the weed speaks for the dysfunctional sewage treatment plant the lake is equipped with, which only partially treats the inflows into the lake.

“The lake did not receive much water even during the torrential downpour in October last year. All that enters here is sewage,” said Sumathi, a frequenter to the lake.

The lake bund is well developed with walking track, landscaping and seating arrangement, and draws hordes of people for fitness or relaxation. The open gym recently installed by GHMC is a huge success going by the number of people using the equipment. Maintenance of the water body, heavily encroached by several colonies such as Balram Nagar, Dayanand Nagar, and Seetharam Nagar on all sides, leaves a lot to be desired.

“We have complained to GHMC several times for de-silting and removal of water hyacinth from the lake, without much result. Due to the weed, the area has an exploding population of mosquitoes,” said Srinivasa Rao, another visitor.

To give credit where it is due, GHMC does take lake clean up operations though at irregular intervals, as vouched by locals. On Tuesday too, weed removal was being done at a corner of the lake. This, however, is not enough, as the weed grows back within no time. Controlling the water pollution, and clearing the passage of flood water are the only ways to arrest the scourge.

Safilguda lake, also known as Nadimi Cheruvu, is part of a lake system, and receives its flows partially from Ramakrishnapuram lake, and partially from localities nearby. Ramakrishnapuram lake, which is in a pitiable condition despite having been listed as one among the 19 lakes to be developed, is nearly dry. Not much fresh water has entered the lake during the rains, say locals.

As part of development and beautification works for the past two years, a walking track has been laid around the water spread area of the lake. It excludes a football ground, part of the several encroachments into the full tank level of the lake. Failure of the efforts to divert sewage is visible from the small ponds of sludge frequented by pigs and buffaloes.

“Efforts were made to divert the sewage via the football ground, which had been a private plot inside the lake, the owners of which had forfeited their right. But we faced stiff resistance from locals who did not yield despite several rounds of talks. The alternative they suggested was cumbersome and not possible, leading to an impasse in works,” an official shared on condition of anonymity.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 10:23:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/green-scourge-plagues-safilguda-lake/article33935941.ece

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