Water Hyacinth back in Hyderabad’s lakes

Hyacinth invades the entire Shah Hatim Talab in Hyderabad as authorities have neglected the lake’s upkeep.   | Photo Credit: RAMAKRISHNA G

Water hyacinth continues to plague the city lakes notwithstanding the crores of rupees spent on removal of the weed every year. As GHMC prepares to call for another round of tenders for removal of the invasive species from 20 more lakes, water bodies from last year’s drive are full of the weed yet again.

Water hyacinth proves to be one of the major reasons for spread of mosquitoes in the city, as Culex mosquitoes breed heavily on the weed. After getting the scourge removed manually for years, the corporation called for tenders for mechanical removal last year. A total of 39 lakes with heavy spread of water hyacinth were selected last year, and tenders were awarded to the tune of ₹ 31 crore for its removal. As per the agreement, the selected agencies had to remove the weed, transport it to the Jawahar Nagar dumpyard, and maintain the water bodies for the coming three years without the weed growth.

Notwithstanding any agreement, the weed is now back in the lakes which were part of last year’s tenders. While the work was to be taken up before the onset of monsoons, thick growth of the plant can be noticed now well in the midst of rainy season when mosquito breeding is the highest. The weed can be noticed covering almost entire water bodies in several instances — Shah Hatim Talab, lake inside the Jalagam Vengal Rao Park, and Banjara Lake to name a few. All the three lakes were part of the weed removal package last year.

This year, 20 more lakes have been chosen for the project, including Nagole Lake, Kummari Kunta, Errakunta, and Ramantapur Pedda Cheruvu in L.B. Nagar Zone, Malkam Cheruvu and Singoji Pond in Charminar Zone, Regula Kunta, Kotha Kunta, Bakshi Kunta, Mysamma Cheruvu and Krishna Kant Park pond in Serilingampally zone, IDL Cheruvu, Yellamma Cheruvu, Bheemuni Kunta, Vennelagadda Lake, Khaja Kunta, Lingam Lake, and Bharat Nagar Lake in Kuktapally Zone, Katora Houz and JVR Park lake in Khairatabad Zone.

Interestingly, quite a few lakes from last year’s package have found place in the current year’s package too, which include JVR Park Lake, Katora Houz, Mysamma Cheruvu, and Yellamma Cheruvu. Officials said lakes with heavy growth of water hyacinth were listed, and final decision is yet to be taken with regard to final tenders. Agencies from last year are said to have refused to remove excessive growth citing higher costs and unwieldy location of the weed for removal. Talks are on with the contractors, officials said.

The authorities are also considering procurement of Floating Trash Collectors for removal of the weed. However, officials on the condition of anonymity admit that as long as garbage dumping and sewage flowing into the lakes is not arrested, weed removal will amount to nothing but money spinner for the agencies. A project for rejuvenation of lakes which envisages diversion of sewage from lakes, stands temporarily suspended as the work has been clubbed with the Strategic Nala Development Programme, they said.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 8:27:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/water-hyacinth-back-in-hyderabads-lakes/article35545987.ece

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