Govt. accords top priority to protection of lakes, says top MAUD official

Published - May 21, 2024 10:54 pm IST - HYDERABAD

The State government accords top priority to conservation and rejuvenation of lakes and its commitment too is evident in the many orders issued and in the continuous exploration of solutions, Principal Secretary (Municipal Administration & Urban Development) M. Dana Kishore said on Tuesday.

He said the aim was to ensure sustainable water management, enhance biodiversity and improve the quality of life for all citizens. And the ways to achieve it have been through a variety of programmes such as lake protection committees, improving wastewater treatment facilities, lowering nutrient loads through buffer zones and riparian planting, involving the community in monitoring, using citizen science initiatives to raise awareness, he explained.

Mr. Kishore was speaking at the workshop on the protection of lakes here, also attended by domain experts, NGOs and start-up organisations in the field of water conservation.

While admitting that lakes are encroached upon or are severely contaminated because of rapid urbanisation, he said lake restoration is even more crucial to achieve water table equilibrium. There are more than 4,234 lakes in urban areas in the State, he informed.

Speaking at the event, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) commissioner Ronald Rose said a comprehensive approach combined with active participation of local communities was needed to achieve desired results. For Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board chief C. Sudarshan Reddy, the distinction is clear: lakes are lifelines in the rural areas, but a source of neglect because of a lack of sense of belonging among citizens in urban areas.

According to Commissioner and Director of Municipal Administration D. Divya, lakes are vital ecosystems. Only by combining scientific knowledge, innovative technology and engaging the community, can a sustainable model of urban development be created.

The workshop discussed case studies, best practices from across the country, citizen participation and technical aspects of lake rejuvenation.

Special Secretary (I&CAD) Prashant Jeevan Patil, Director (EVDM) Prakash Reddy and others participated.

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