This is the second incident of a 'frothing' water body in the city reported in less than a month.

Toxic foam flies from yet another Hyderabad lake No solution in sightAll images: Nitin B
news Environment Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 14:58

"As soon as I heard about it, my friends called me, and I came to see. I had seen it on TV when my father was watching the news, but I never thought that I'll see it next to my house," says 14-year-old Santosh, as he looks at a large 'cloud' of foam.

"However, our parents told us not to touch it. They said that is some chemical," his friend pipes in.

Several people had gathered at Hyderabad's Ramakrishna Puram Cheruvu, more commonly known as the R K Puram Lake, on Monday, as a spell of rain resulted in a large cloud of froth accumulating in one corner of the lake.

It would seem that the city is going the Bengaluru way, as this is the second incident of a 'frothing' water body reported in less than a month.

Visuals from the spot showed froth being spewed out with the wind, and travelling in the air, before landing on other structures nearby.

When TNM visited the site on Tuesday, things were no different, as the froth and foam continued to fly around in the wind. 

A putrid and pungent smell also engulfed the area. 

The lake is a part of the Alwal catchment area and is fed by water from several smaller bodies in the area. 

From here, the water travels to the Safilguda Lake, also known as the 'mini tank bund', before travelling to Banda Cheruvu (lake) and finally ending up in the Musi river.

"The foam coming from R K Puram lake is from toxic sewage runoff, and is caused by the high content of ammonia and phosphate. R K Puram lake is Malkajgiri's largest lake, but it has become the Malkajgiri-Defence Colony area drainage system, with sewage moving into the lake," activists who circulated the visuals to the media, said in a statement.

B T Srinivasan, General Secretary of the United Federation of Residents' Welfare Associations suspects that a manufacturing industry could be discharging effluents into the lake.

"The foam is definitely chemical in nature, evident from the smell. We think that someone may have set up an illegal manufacturing unit, and connected their drain to the lake. That is what we suspect as of now," he says.

Srinivasan says that a complaint has been filed with the Pollution Control Board (PCB).

"PCB officials will now take samples and then try to ascertain the source of the pollution, before moving forward," he adds.

While PCB officials were initially clueless about the issue till Monday night, they acknowledged the incident after the media picked it up on Tuesday.

However, the froth is here to stay, as both locals and officials do not know how to get rid of the thick layer of foam that has accumulated on the water.

TNM had also reported last year that this very lake had overflowed during the rains, and flooded several low-lying colonies in the area with sewage.

In fact, entire houses in the interior lanes of the Rythu Bazaar road were inundated last year, with even the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) stepping in to rescue those who were stranded.

Several residents had braved the deadly sewage mixed with water at the time, and with more rains expected to lash the city in July, urgent steps need to be taken, to control the pollution to avoid a repeat of last year. 

(The spot from where water overflowed last year, continues to remain clogged)

Until a few years ago, the lake itself used to be a bright sight full of life, with migratory birds visiting every year. Now, pigs and mosquitoes rule the roost, while a layer of water hyacinth covers the entire water body during the summer.

After the construction of the R K Puram bridge, and rapid urbanisation, it gradually turned into a dumping ground over the past decade.

This is also not the first such incident reported in the city this month. 

On June 8, Dharani Nagar witnessed froth, several feet high, along the Kukatpally nala.

However, the PCB has since claimed that it was an 'episodal pollution' and said that the foam was caused by 'detergents and phosphates'.

Also read: Think foam from Hyd drain is toxic? Officials say you're living in a bubble

Not just Bengaluru lakes: Watch toxic froth from Hyderabad's Musi river almost engulf a bus

Hyderabad's 'development' turned this village's lake toxic, and locals are losing hope