The pictures showed machines working inside the fencing of the lake, and seemingly dumping mud, to 'create' a walkway at the edge of the lake. 

Armed with photos activists allege illegal walkway being built around Kapra Lake in Hyd
news Encroachment Monday, July 03, 2017 - 07:23

Months after activists alleged that Kapra Lake in Secunderabad had shrunk by several acres due to alleged encroachments within its Full Tank Level (FTL) and Buffer Zone, another violation was reported on Sunday.

Armed with photographs, activists from Save Our Urban Lakes (SOUL) alleged that officials of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) were laying a 'walkway' inside the FTL of the lake.

The pictures showed machines working inside the fencing of the lake, and seemingly dumping mud, to 'create' a walkway at the edge of the lake. 

"Hyderabad has been turned into a 'drought city' with residents being made dependent on Krishna and Godavari waters drawn from more than 150 km away, while the city's abundant water bodies are shrinking and stinking by the day. Public money is squandered in name of erroneous fencing, diversion of pollutants, and laying of roads inside lakes," the activists said in a statement.

This comes just days after SOUL filed a contempt petition in the Hyderabad High Court, accusing the GHMC of violating a stay order.

The activists had claimed that the GHMC was going on with its 'beautification' works at the Malkam lake, despite a stay order from the HC, dated May 25, 2017.

On May 25, the court had directed the GHMC, “not to carry out any work that affects the buffer zone, full tank level (FTL) or inlet and outlet channels of the lake.”

Background

The Kapra lake, spread over 113 acres, was the largest water body in the area a few decades ago, but has since turned into a cesspool, due to rapid urbanisation.

In March this year, activists released two static satellite images of the Kapra lake, from 2000 and 2013.

They did this, claiming that the original maps of the lake were 'suppressed' from the HC during its hearings and also charged government officials with "manipulation of FTL pillars".

It also claimed that the officials went to the extent of 'accommodating' the encroachment.

The main culprits were an open tennis court and an indoor badminton court, owned by the same man, activists said.

According to the Andhra Pradesh Water, Land and Trees Act (WALTA), 2002, an authority is appointed at the State, district and mandal-levels, to ensure protection of the water bodies. 

On Sunday, activists accused the WALTA authority in charge of Keesara Mandal, of "brazenly proceeding, without even convening" a WALTA meeting.

"For tampering with the contours and water body area, for not being able to comply with laws of land, for not being able to protect the lake boundaries, we urge you to take moral responsibility and step down from your position. We expect new officials to apply their mind, follow the law and be inclusive in taking decisions," they demanded from the authority.

The activists also demanded that the authorities immediately dredge all the landfill done inside the lake.

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