HYDERABAD: Members of ‘Save Our Urban Lakes’ (SOUL) and other civil society organisations have strongly condemned the state government’s decision to de-water Hussainsagar lake to clean it. Questioning the necessity, scientific basis, economics and wisdom of the decision to empty Hussainsagar into Musi river, SOUL has demanded a white paper on the discussions and scientific study conducted to arrive at the decision to empty Hussainsagar.
Further, they would submit a representation to chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and went on to say that, if necessary, they would lodge a police complaint against the chief minister himself under Section 505 of Indian Penal Code for causing fear or alarm among public, especially those who live in the downstream of Hussainsagar and Musi river.
“Instead of taking action against pollutant industries, authorities are resorting to unscientific and uninformed steps. Once the water is discharged to Musi through outlets in Hussainsagar, we need to know what is government’s plans for backwater levels, downstream inundation, overflows on the banks of Musi, further contamination of neighbouring districts, and disposal of dredged material,” said Lubna Sarwath, co-convener, SOUL. She also demanded proceedings of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and public hearings that has lead to the decision be placed in public domain.
Environmentalist and academician, Prof K Purushotham Reddy, urged the government to take steps to prevent non-point source pollutants from entering the lake and provide tertiary treatment facilities for removal of phosphorous and nitrogen at 20 mld STP. According to him, artificial aeration using solar aerators must be arranged at the inlet points and all lakes in the catchment could avoid anaerobic conditions. Water expert BV Subba Rao said that the government has to first strictly implement Municipal Solid Waste management rules 2000 and also review JICA project and place in public domain the findings before venturing into any new initiatives.