NGO’s Muski cheruvu bund plantation move opposed

In August, Rangareddy additional collector had given permission to plant 10,000 saplings on the bund of Muski cheruvu as part of Haritha Haram  

In a classic case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, the Rangareddy district administration had issued permission to plant on a lake bund, a little ahead of the Irrigation department removing trees from another bund terming them harmful.

Responding to a request by ‘Dhruvansh’, an NGO, Additional Collector, Rangareddy district Prateek Jain had, in August, issued permission for plantation of a total of 10,000 saplings on the bund of Muski cheruvu as part of the Haritha Haram programme.

While the permission letter clearly stipulates that the plantation should be done in consultation with the Manikonda Municipal Commissioner and Irrigation authorities, the latter have had no clue about the plantation until alerted by Lubna Sarwat, from Save Our Urban Lakes (SOUL), who called the plantation unscientific.

In her letters to the Special Chief Secretary, Irrigation, and the Chairman of the Lake Protection Committee, Ms. Sarwat raised several questions about the plantation, seeking to know if the existing encroachments have been removed from the lake, and if the water holding capacity of the lake has been restored.

The letter questioned if the inflow and outflow channels of the lake have been restored to their carrying capacity, and if the plantation is scientifically approved as necessary to the lake.

In the light of the NGO not following due procedure of consultation with Irrigation officials, and in the light of the FTL and buffer zones not demarcated on the ground, Ms. Sarwat urged the authorities to stop the plantation activity and proceed against Dhruvansh.

Inquiries with the Irrigation officials revealed that there is no sanction of plantation on the lank bund.

“We do not allow trees on the lake bund, as it will weaken the structure. Turfing, small plants and shrubs are allowed only on the outer slope of the bund, which has been done by Dhruvansh for Neknampur Lake,” shared an official pleading anonymity.

It may be remembered that a fortnight ago, Irrigation department officials felled down several trees from the bund of Bam-Rukn-Ud-Daula lake in Rajendranagar, terming them dangerous to the bund stability.

When sought her version, Madhulika Chowdary from Dhruvansh said they planted medicinal plants on the outer slope of the bund and were set to take up tree varieties on the bund starting Saturday.

“Usually where the bund height does not exceed 1.5 metres, plantation is not advisable. But here, the maximum height of the bund is 10 metres, where plantation of tree varieties is not hazardous,” Ms. Choudary said, and claimed that she was in consultation with Irrigation department.

Irrigation officials, however, said they will proceed against the plantation scheduled for Saturday.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 6:07:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/ngos-muski-cheruvu-bund-plantation-move-opposed/article37132085.ece

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