Hyderabad's dried up lake beds turn into encroachers' paradise

Peeran Cheruvu in Old City, Chengicherla Cheruvu in Ghatkesar and Bathukammakunta lake in Amberpet have joined the ‘dry lakes’ list.

Published: 05th September 2016 05:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th September 2016 05:55 AM   |  A+A-

City

HYDERABAD: Three lakes in three corners of the city are the latest to enter  the list of Hyderabad lakes that have dried up irreversibly.

However, organisations are fighting a seemingly lost battle to rejuvenate them by approaching authorities to end the encroachments and sewerage that have led to the lakes’ deaths.

While Peeran Cheruvu in Bandlaguda, Old City has dried up due to construction of new townships and a medical college to its northern and eastern ends, Chengicherla Cheruvu in Ghatkesar of Rangareddy is seeing unprecedented construction over its bosom even after Lokayukta court had ordered to stop the construction. Similarly, Bathukammakunta lake in Amberpet, where earlier Bathukamma were immersed in small tanks built, has dried up and houses have been built where waters from channels from Osmania University used to flow.

“Authorities fill the small tank only during Bathukamma for immersion. Otherwise it is filled with garbage and empty alcohol bottles,” said K Rajesh, an Amberpet local.

In Google maps, one can find the three lakes marked blue with original acreage. However, as soon as a visitor switches to the satellite view, the real picture is seen. While Peerancheruvu shows a narrow strip of water, Chengicherla Cheruvu and Bathukammakunta do not exist!

Citizens of Peerancheruvu locality submitted a petition to the authorities after conducting a survey of the lake on April 16. “Feeder channels are blocked due to construction of concrete road. These roads disconnect the channels with Snehita Hills, which was a source of incoming water. Some FTL pillars have been found to be uprooted despite having ‘Govt land’ marking on them. An outlet from Shadaan Medical Institute campus have been found to make way through the fence, letting sewerage into the lake,” the petition said. They demand that the lake be rejuvenated under the Mission Kakatiya.

Save Our Urban Lakes submitted a complaint on June 16 with the Lokayukta court against the construction and seeping of sewerage into the Pedda Cheruvu portion near the Chengicherla Gram Panchayat and Chinna Cheruvu portion near the RTC depot. The court had on July 19 ordered to fence the lake, stop all construction and prevent seeping of sewerage into the lake. “However, as nothing has changed,” said a SOUL member.

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