In a sight that is becoming all too common along Hyderabad's outskirts, thousands of dead fish washed ashore the Edulabad Lake, bordering the Outer Ring Road (ORR) near Ghatkesar.
According to estimates, at least four lakh fish washed ashore from the 600-acre lake, also known as the Lakshminarayana Cheruvu.
Speaking to TNM, Batte Shankar, the Edulabad sarpanch, alleged that it was pollution from Hyderabad's main dumpyard at Jawahar Nagar which caused the death of the fish.
"There is a large amount of leachate that flows out of Jawahar Nagar, and it has polluted three lakes in the process, as it flows through Dammaiguda, Rampally, Ghatkesar, before it reaches Edulabad," Shankar said.
"The water was clean until a few months ago and could be used to take a bath. However, because of all the liquid discharged into it, the water has become dark and black in colour," he added.
Shankar said that he rowed through the lake in a boat and the situation was the same in all corners of the water body, with dead fish for as far as one could see.
"According to environmental norms, a dumping yard should recycle most of the waste and have zero discharge, which is possible with the help of today's technology. Instead of that, they're polluting and poisoning multiple lakes," Shankar said.
E Balaiah, District Fisheries Officer told reporters, “Heavy rains lashing the city a few days ago, resulted in most of the polluted water flowing through Erimalle canal from Jawahar Nagar dumping yard."
Meanwhile, officials of the Pollution Control Board visited the spot and collected samples.
For the locals of Edulabad, this is not the first water body that is being polluted.
To trace the source of the lake's pollution, one must look at the four nalas going into Hussain Sagar in Hyderabad, through which effluents are allegedly released into the water body - the Kukatpally Nala, Balkapur Nala, Banjara Nala and the Picket Nala.
All this sewage, in turn, joins the Musi river, which flows downstream. As the river splits into various tributaries, each feeding several smaller lakes on the outskirts of the city, a large amount of the sewage flows naturally into Edulabad.
According to Shanker, many of these industries, which he says are guilty of polluting the lake, release their waste in the night, which makes it harder to track.
Shanker is also part of a movement that has been fighting to clean up the entire Musi River.
In March 2000, locals gathered at the lake’s shoreline and saw several hundred fish wash up dead. The fish had died because the lake was too polluted for them to breathe. By the summer of 2002, the number had gone up to several lakh, and toxic froth began emanating from the lake.
TNM had earlier covered the frothing water bodies in Edulabad, the links for which can be found below.