HYDERABAD: As the department of tourism celebrates the ‘Heritage Week’ with extravagant cultural programmes across the city, what seems to have gone unnoticed is that this very year turns out to be the 450th anniversary of the city’s most famous man-made water body, which continues to bear neglect. The Hussain Sagar lake in the city, which was named after Hazrat Hussain Shah Wali, who supervised the tank’s construction for the then ruler, Ibrahim Qul Qutub Shah in 1562, was a source of drinking water for centuries before turning into a stink tank.
With the authorities organising week-long traditional performances at city monuments, denizens and tourists wonder as to why no effort is being made to highlight the importance of the lake. Surendar Kumar, a tourist at NTR marg on Sunday, was seen complaining whether the lake had any importance during the heritage week. “This week is being organised for the first time following the conferment of the ‘Best Heritage City’ award. But what about the stinking lake in the midst of the city which dates back to the formation of the city?” he questions.
On an evening outing with his family, Krishna Rao, a bank employee too questions the celebration. Of the opinion that “Hussain sagar lake is not only is a biggest man-made lake but the city’s biggest man-made disaster till date,” he points out, further questioning, “If we do not care about the pollution in the lake and the stink that it gives out, how does one expect the authorities to act?”
As far as the officials responsible for the lake’s maintenance – Buddha Purnima Project (the nodal organisation under HMDA) is concerned, the stink in the lake will continue till complete cleaning of the water body finishes in 2014. However, the water in the lake will never be consumable. “Even after completion of the project by diverting sewerage and building Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) to clean the water and free it from stink, the water would not be fit for consumption,” says an official with the Buddha Purnima Project when quizzed. Under this project, two 50 MLD STPs are to be installed.
“Once the remaining capacity and the second STP plant become operational, by early next year, stench from the waters will reduce and the visual appeal will improve with highest quality of water,” he adds.