Activists oppose walking track at Malkam Cheruvu

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ILLEGAL: Landfill that came up overnight inside the fencing of the water body. — Photo: Moulika KV

Hyderabad: A drive along the Malkam Cheruvu, perched between multiple technology parks near Rai Durgam, may leave one wondering about the huge stretch of landfill that has come up overnight inside the fencing of the water body.

The activists of Save our Urban Lakes (SOUL) have raised their reservations over the sudden appearance of the landfill, which is being taken up by GHMC to construct a walking track. The members of SOUL on Wednesday said that the landfill inside the demarcated area of the lake is illegal.

“It is strange because the municipal body had earlier demarcated the lake boundary and had set up a fence. Now, it is dumping mud and preparing a landfill to construct a new walking track,” says Lubna Sarwath, Co-Convenor, SOUL.

SOUL members said that the landfills have also blocked inflow channels to the lake that carry rain water to the lake as well as surplus fresh water from the Durgam Cheruvu.

The activists urged authorities to first clear the invasive water Hyacinth that has been infesting the lake instead of further encroaching the lake.

“We have taken a serious view of this landfill encroachment which shrinks the lake area and reduces space that is home to biodiversity including aquatic life. Instead of constructing a walking track, officials should remove hyacinth,” Lubna said.

However, GHMC officials clarified that they are constructing the walkers track after fully reviewing the demarcated area of the lake and said that they are working on a proposal to clear the Hyacinth and complete the beautification of the water body.

“We first constructed fencing and are now developing the walkers’ path and other amenities for morning-walkers. We are also focusing on landscaping like plantation, lawns, besides the walkers path with a 0.6 metre width on each side and purification of the tank,” Shekar Reddy, Lake Protection Officer of GHMC said.