Even as the RK Puram lake in Secunderabad continues to froth, piggeries in the area that are allegedly dumping animal waste into the lake, continue to operate under the radar.
Less than a week after multiple raids on many piggery units in RK Puram resulted in hefty fines and closure notices, enforcement teams of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) raided a few more houses in the area on Thursday morning and found people illegally slaughtering pigs.
"We prosecuted one person involved in the illegal slaughter of pigs. This person was different, and was not part of the group prosecuted earlier," Dr Goverdhan Reddy, assistant director (North zone, Veterinary Section), GHMC, told TNM.
"They have been doing it for many years, as it is their profession. However, they were doing so in an unhygienic condition, without following rules and norms. The case has now been referred to a Municipal Magistrate Court. They have been booked under Section 521, 530, 497, 596 of the GHMC Act," he added.
While officials claimed that the piggery was not dumping animal waste into the lake, locals refuted the claim.
"I have seen them dumping the waste in the lake. Even all the blood and flesh after they slaughter the animal goes straight into the water," a local told TNM, on the condition of anonymity.
The raid, which was conducted on Thursday, took an ugly turn after one of the officers, who was part of the GHMC raid, allegedly revealed the name of the person who had tipped them off.
"Despite an assurance given by the Rachakonda police and the GHMC, the boy's identity was revealed, following which around 10 people ganged up on him, and tried to manhandle him," BT Srinivasan, General Secretary of the United Federation of Residents' Welfare Associations told TNM.
Srinivasan also demanded that action is taken against the officer for the incident.
As locals saw a potential fight breaking out in the area, they managed to pacify the irked group, temporarily. The youngster is now planning to take a legal route and avail protection from the police.
According to locals, there are several illegal piggeries in the area that process pork and animal fat and continue to pollute the lake.
The frothing at the RK Puram lake was first reported in June, following which officials from the Pollution Control Board (PCB) visited the lake and collected water samples.
Preliminary tests showed that the lake may have frothed, due to a mixture of sewage and alleged dumping of animal waste.
In fact, last week, the Neredmet police arrested one person from an illegal piggery in the area, which was involved in extracting oil from pig waste.
The police said that the accused had been illegally slaughtering pigs, and collecting the fat that was excreted by the animal.
The fat would then be burned, and oil would be extracted. The police added that the accused dumped the remnant carcass after the process, at the RK Puram lake.
Sources in the area also told TNM that those running the racket were local goons, and also wielded considerable political influence.
According to the GHMC’s rules, there are no certified slaughterhouses for pork in Hyderabad, but licences are given if outlets follow certain norms and rules, where hygiene is concerned.