Citizens Initiative for saving water bodies in Hyderabad
Effect of water bodies in Hyderabad
When the city witnessed heavy rains some years back, the narrowed/encroached water courses/bodies could not carry rainwater thus inundating large areas in the vicinity. Low-lying areas down the Hussainsagar, though occupied by middle and upper middle class people, experienced worst ever flooding. Boats had to be used to traverse in the flood waters. Flood water levels reached up to the first floor level in some apartment complexes.
Question 1 : Have you have ever thought why it happened?
“There is an alarming fall in the groundwater table in the city. In view of the worsening situation, the Groundwater Department has advised against further extraction of water through bore wells. While there is no recharge of ground water in any part of the city, alarming fall is observed in most places.”
“Water crisis stares hard in the face for those residing on the outskirts of the city and in rural parts of Ranga Reddy district. Already facing short supply of municipal water, these areas will soon have to grapple with the plummeting groundwater reserves too.”
Question 2 : Did you know the reasons for this?
Answer to Q1 : In the recent past the city got flooded with big as well as small rains; it is not because we don’t have mechanisms or channels to divert or store the water. With the sudden urbanization all the existing mechanism got disturbed and the storage units (lakes, Kunta’s) have been encroached. So the water instead of getting stored, flow into the streets.
Answer to Q2 : The main reason for the groundwater table not getting recharged is the construction of concrete buildings in every nook and corner of Greater Hyderabad which leaves little space for rainwater to seep into the ground. Besides this, all the main and internal roads are covered either by BT or concrete, causing run-off of the rainwater. Another reason is that despite the mandatory rule to have rain water harvesting structures (RWHS) under the Andhra Pradesh Water, Land and Tree Act (APWALTA), one can hardly find them in households, residential or commercial complexes
Question 3 : What is our next course of action to avoid the above problems ?
The main and natural source of water for a city like Hyderabad is rain water. We need to preserve it for all purposes. We can do this by storing rain water in water bodies till the maximum level (Called as FTL). This entails a political struggle against the entire lobby of land grabbers who are fast converting water space into land.
Question 4 : Will it make any difference ?
Definitely yes, you can talk to environmentalist, scientist or recollect your science subject which you have learned during school days.