A video posted by a local resident on Saturday morning showed a dark yellow liquid flowing through a storm water drain connected to the lake.

Telangana Minister Malla Reddy inspecting a lake in HyderabadMinister Malla Reddy during his visit to the lake
news Environment Saturday, May 23, 2020 - 15:30

Locals in Hyderabad's Boduppal area have alleged that industries are continuing to pollute a lake in the area despite recent promises by authorities to resolve the issue. 

Taking to Twitter, Prashanth Mamidala, a local resident posted a video of the 'Rama Cheruvu' lake, also known as the 'Raa Cheruvu', on Saturday morning which showed dark yellow liquid flowing through a storm water drain connected to the lake.

"It is difficult to trace exactly which company is responsible for this, but it is coming from the Mallapur industrial area. The pollution has been going on for around 10 years and the lake has deteriorated a lot," Prashanth tells TNM.

For the last year or so, Prashanth and another group of locals have been working to clean up the lake and also make officials take note of the industrial pollution taking place.

Last week, a red coloured liquid flowed through one of the drains, following which locals had raised an alarm. 

At the time, the issue had reached Telangana Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) Minister KT Rama Rao, the son of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who asked Telangana Pollution Control Board (PCB) Member Secretary Neetu Prasad to look into the matter. "If proven true, take the most stringent action possible immediately," KTR had said.

Following this, sitting state minister and Medchal MLA Malla Reddy also visited the spot and assured people that action would be taken. 

Despite this, in less than a week, locals have observed companies releasing industrial waste into the water again. Even the Central Pollution Control Board has taken note of the incident and asked for an 'Action Taken Report'. This report is yet to be made public, residents point out. 

"Officials of the Telangana PCB had taken me to the lake last week and I showed them everything. They took water samples for tests but the report is yet to come out. This is a 45-acre lake and several thousand people live around it. The smell is unbearable. If this pollution continues, it will have disastrous consequences. We need to act before something big happens," Prashanth says. 

Saini Naveen Kumar, a resident of Indranagar, says, "In areas like Malliah Nagar and which are downstream from the lake, the bore water is heavily polluted and people who live along the outlet naala are the ones who suffer the most."

"For the last two to three months, after we took up the issue, officials are working on cleaning the lake but it is not happening in a planned manner. They are not looking for a long-term solution. Raa Cheruvu was an important point in the manifesto of all the parties before the election in 2018 and 2019, but they seem to have forgotten it now," he adds.

The local residents also alleged that though the office of Minister KT Rama Rao was proactive, officials on the ground were not even willing to convene a meeting of stakeholders and include them, though they had many suggestions to offer. 

Repeated calls to government officials went unanswered. 

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