How veggie farming got dirty

Dated images of the Nalla Cheruvu tank show farms, indicating that vegetable cultivation existed earlier too, but using water directly from the tank.

Inflow stopped

In a recent measure ostensibly for development and beautification of the tank, the government has stopped the inflows and diverted the water directly into River Musi.

Since then, water from the diversion canal is pumped for the cultivation.

GHMC officials responsible for the lake development informed that the diversion was meant to clean the lake of polluted water so that during monsoon, it could be filled with fresh water. An interception and diversion structure is due where the water enters Nalla Cheruvu so that the storm water during rains can be directly allowed into the tank, while the sewage water during other seasons could be diverted. A sewage treatment plant installed inside the lake is apparently defunct.

Nalla Cheruvu is downstream to the Nacharam Pedda Cheruvu, and any excess flows into the latter are drained into the former through the same drain which has now been diverted and used for vegetable cultivation.

Eyes wide shut

Activist and politician Lubna Sarwat points out the same, and questions how the authorities could disturb the natural chain link system between lakes. Nacharam Pedda Cheruvu has been the receptacle of large amounts of industrial and domestic pollution for many years now and needs urgent attention from authorities, she says and alleges that the Telangana State Pollution Control Board has been turning a blind eye to it.

Vague description

Interestingly, the TSPCB lake monitoring data is quite vague on Nacharam Pedda Cheruvu. It lists major polluting sources of the lake as “domestic and other”, and use of water downstream as “other”, even while it uses descriptions such as “industrial” and “irrigation”/ “agriculture” for other lakes.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 4:42:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/how-veggie-farming-got-dirty/article26163658.ece

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