Hyderabad was called the city of lakes. It had 3000 sprawling water bodies around the city, which had a wonderful natural habitat and the most happening city developing around it. But as of now it shows a different picture,with around 30,000 various species of fish found dead floating on a 100 acre large Rampally Lake, around 30 km away from the city. Ironically people were observing World Environment Day on Monday, where we do not have any right to celebrate that.
It’s not just with one lake. A week before that around 40,000 fish were floating dead on Shamirpet Lake, which is one of the most picturesque areas in the outskirts of Hyderabad. Officials blame it on the scorching heat wave but it can be clearly understood that the reason is because of the sewage and chemical dump from the industry. Around 92% of the lakes have turned into cesspools which doesn’t meet the minimum dissolved oxygen levels required for drinking purposes or fishes to breathe. Experts are blaming it on not installing the necessary amount of trees around the water bodies.
The bacteria from the sewage and acidic salts from the chemical dumps reduce the biological oxygen demand in the pools which make the fish choke and die. Also the remaining fish cannot be consumed because of the infections spread from the dead ones, so the official ordered to add lime, turmeric salts in the lakes to clean it. But still, the chemicals get dissolved several kilometers deep into the soil, contaminating the ground water also.
Government is only hell bent on cleaning Hussain Sagar for now, which has lost its ability to self-purify, thanks to the industrial and sewage dumps from KukaptallyNala, Picket Nala, Banjara Nalaand others, has around 3 meters layer of heavy metal sediments from the lake bed. This is an indication to the extinction of lake and thus more conservation is needed. The lake, originally built in 1563, is a sorry sight today, with the stench of industrial effluents strong in the air. It was built over 1,600 hectares, now stands at a meagre 4.4 sq km.
People and conservationists are worrying about the alarming levels of this pollution around. Even officials are shrugging their shoulders saying that the lakes have gone to almost irreparable state and we do not have such expertise and the restoration is a very expensive affair. Its high time people and government wake up and do their part to save whatever little eco system is alive.