The 450-odd-years old Hussainsagar, at present, is spread across nearly 1,600 acres or 6 square kilometers and comprises nearly about 40,000 cubic liters of water contaminated with highly concentrated toxic material. Experts here feel that it would be nothing less than a crime to discharge this water into a river allowing it to flow away. They question why cost-effective alternatives are not being considered. They point out that Hussainsagar is not the only lake in the state that requires protection and that the same enthusiasm is necessary for protection of other lakes.
Every lake has its own natural cleansing mechanism, for which we need to allow fresh water to reach it. In case of Hussainsagar, all the five inlets bring in only industrial waste. Once we prevent that, the water will be clean by itself, feels Lubna Sarwath of SOUL.
According to her, the Supreme Court expert committee in 2005 had recommended against dredging and has said that the process of self-purification which is a long process if pursued properly by preventing pollutants entering the lake, as the only practical available option.
Another water expert and founder member of SOUL, BV Subba Rao points out that there are 52 small lakes in the catchment area of Hussainsagar. ‘’We need to re-assess the entire catchment area, assess the existing practices, set up sewerage treatment plans all along and restore the lakes in the catchment area,” he says adding that government has conveniently overlooked water management practices in Singapore while pursuing its dream of skyscrapers.
K Purushotham Reddy on the other hand, lamented that authorities have failed to implement exemplary orders passed by the Supreme Court. “Performance of Lake Protection Committees and Pollution Control Board needs to be reviewed and action should be taken if necessary,” he says.