The Banjara lake in Hyderabad, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) was dumped with debris and mud through the night of December 25, activists alleged.
Local activists stated that when they questioned this move, they were told that this was part of the state's plan to develop a walking track around the lake.
They also stated that around Rs 95 lakh had been sanctioned under this plan, for a 'beautification' and 'development' program which would include 'civil' works, a 'walking track', 'lighting' and 'plantation work'.
The lake, which is situated near the Taj Banjara hotel, is reported to be among one of the most endangered lakes to the expanding commercialisation of the locality.
The lake had even come under the scanner of the authorities during the recent anti-encroachment drive in the city.
Members of Save Our Urban Lakes (SOUL) have taken up the issue and have also approached Superintending Engineer, GHMC Sekhar Reddy on the issue.
The activists allege that the walking track would come inside the Full Tank Level (FTL) of the lake, which is against environmental guidelines.
"We urge that the funds sanctioned be used to re-mediate the lake by local cleaning...and most importantly clear up inflow channels for storm water to replenish the lake. We recommend local decentralized ward-wise handling of solid and liquid waste so that upstream pollutants do not contaminate downstream channels and water bodies, as is the case today with all the lakes of GHMC. We recommend fencing of lakes at buffer zone to ensure minimum unconcretized permeable ground on its boundaries," the activists said in a statement.
However, the GHMC has refuted the allegations.
Sekhar Reddy, superintending engineer, GHMC told TOI, â€śNo mud or debris is being dumped inside the lake. We have received complaints from the residents and the same has been forwarded to the assistant engineer. If residents don't oppose the work being done by us then it can be completed soon."
He also told TNIE that, â€śWe are doing this to protect the lake...the walking path will provide a place for people to walk and enjoy the lake. We are in no way destroying the lake,â€ť
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