LAKE CLEAN UP
Kriti Social Initiatives along with two other NGO’s – Udayan Care and Ananda Foundation began a year-long clean up drive of a lake – Shaikpet Kotha Cheruvu in June 2019.
The area around the lake has slums as well as gated communities. Around 3 years back, GHMC built a wall around the lake covering almost the entire section of the lake. This helped stop the encroachment and created an enclosure around the lake.
The lake water is heavily polluted and is getting inflows from sewage and other effluents from a nala nearby. There is also the problem of trash, both inside and outside the lake. In addition, GHMC is using one of the sections surrounding the lake as a transitory dumping ground. This causes several trucks to dump large mounds of trash daily and the same being picked up bi-weekly to clear up this dumping.
Project Implementation Highlights:
- Each Sunday, a team of volunteers spent time from 8:00 am to 10:00 am cleaning the surroundings of trash and other debris. Initially, we concentrated on the outside and later, once rains reduced, we began clearing the inside areas.
- We had volunteers from various MNC’s, environmental groups, students, basthi dwellers, onlookers, etc., who helped clear over 8 tonnes of trash from inside and outside the lake.
- A Run-for-a-cause event that started and ended at the lake was conducted along with Hyderabad Runners. Over 100 runners participated in the run and later, cleared the debris outside the lake. Runners were given an environmentally-friendly bag. School students raised slogans and did a parade around the lake to raise awareness about it.
- Awareness sessions were conducted in the basthi’s surrounding the lake to reduce plastic usage, not throw trash into the lake and create awareness to own the lake and its surroundings.
- Shops around the lake were asked to reduce plastic bags and to encourage customers to bring their own bags. Newspaper bags were made by volunteers and over 2000 bags were distributed.
- Haritha Haram, tree plantation drive was conducted and Shri. Maganti Gopinath, MLA, Jubilee Hills was the chief guest at the event. Shri Maganti Gopinath took keen interest in the lake and agreed to help in our efforts to revamp the lake.
- The zonal commissioner and the deputy zonal commissioner – Shri Eslavathalong with their subordinates made several trips to the lake to aid in our efforts.
- A master plan was created that would not just clear the debris and improve water quality (by removing inlet effluents and reroute them) but also create a walkway around the lake, plant additional trees and make it a green space for the surrounding areas. This plan costing about 3-4 crores was put together by the Engineering department of GHMC.
- The Zonal Commissioner of GHMC was pursuing budget allocation for the project when
- Zonal Commissioner was transferred and a new person was brought in.
- COVID-19 crisis came about and the country went into lockdown.
We hope to bring back focus on the lake and pursue with GHMC and the government officials to work on the lake at the end of the lockdown. Currently, volunteer efforts for lake clean up are suspended due to COVID-19.