HYDERABAD: Complaints are raised against illegally occupied land for the construction of apartments within the boundaries of Amber Cheruvu, also known as Lake Pragati Nagar, in Kukatpally. Referring to the past and present images of the lake on Google Maps, residents and activists allege that civil servants are turning a blind eye to the illegal encroachment of land within the lake and that the lake is gradually decreasing.
Lake Pragati Nagar is a magnificent lake, which is home to many migratory birds in the winters and many resident species. This urban lake suffers the same fate as most Ponds in and around Hyderabad are caught in encroachment and dumping of waste into the lake and its surroundings.
Rapidly declining green cover, loss of habitat for various species of flora and fauna in the cheruvu, increasing levels of pollution, and the poorly managed garbage disposal system are the major threats to lakes and of the environment.
DV Raghava Goud, a resident of HMT Hills in Kukatpally, said: “If we look at the images on Google Maps of Lake Pragati, it gives a clear perspective as the water masses have been eaten over the years. Land around the lake are illegally occupied land and even the road near the lake is not allowed and illegal, encroaches on water bodies. “
He added, “Under the RTI Act, we received responses from officials of the Residences of the North, Tehsildar of Balnagar and Quthbullapur, and the GHMC Circle of Kukatpally. They stated that the road through the water is not permitted and illegal. The full tank level map issued by the North Tank division, the village income map published by the Narayanaguda survey department, and the original maps published by the Habsiguda India Survey confirm that there is no Had no road in this oldest and largest lake in Ranga Reddy district. “
Lubna Sarwath, co-organizer of Save Our Urban Lakes (SOUL) Hyderabad, said that encroachments have increased greatly in the lakes of Hyderabad due to which the lakes are shrinking. “One of the main reasons why most of the pond in the city lack research on the catchment area devoted to studying the water channels through which these lakes are fed.
She adds, “The government is not interested in doing anything for Pond conservation. We have lost so many lakes and because of the enthusiasm for the construction of walking and cycling paths. None of the lakes went through a watershed research. Until this research is completed, all efforts will be in vain, “she said.
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However, Shekhar Reddy, Superintendent Engineer for the Hyderabad Ponds, denied this, and said: There were illegal constructions in the vicinity of the cheruvu, but at the moment there are no such constructions. Instead, the authorities are helping to clean the Ponds. Even the residents set out to remove the water hyacinth from the ponds of Pragathi. A charity association is formed and we are very careful about the lakes so that we can ensure that there will be no encroachment. “