Unabated dumping of rock and building debris is defacing the Durgam Cheruvu lake on its south-western side. As the new suspension bridge has become a tourist draw and a site for surreal selfies, the lake continues to shrink for want of protection. “The place of dumping is full tank level/buffer zone of the Durgam Cheruvu. Such activities are prohibited in the area,” says Lubna Sarwath of Save Our Urban Lakes when asked about the dumped rocks.

On Wednesday, earthmovers were deployed in the area to clean up the road for the scheduled inauguration of the suspension bridge on September 19. On the other side where the road girdles the lake, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation workers were busy working on the landscape. The Durgam Cheruvu is a natural rock formation which has small hillocks on its south-western side creating a deep valley. This natural valley is now being filled up.

A number of roads were laid in the area starting from 2010 connecting the once inaccessible higher reaches of the lake. This allowed the illegal dumping activity to go on unimpeded. Now, one of the roads that reached deep into the valley has been blocked.

“We have been asked to clean only this road stretch,” said the operator of an earthmover working on the road abutting the lake.

The filling up of the valley will further reduce the carrying capacity of the lake as it has been hemmed in from all sides by range of earthen works like a park, a walking track, an STP and a mini pond for immersing Ganesh idols.

The road connecting Inorbit Mall to Kavuri Hills near Nectar Gardens has been the site of frequent flooding during monsoons disrupting traffic flow. The new suspension bridge will dramatically ease traffic flow even if the area is flooded. But for the residents of the surrounding areas the ongoing dumping of debris will further aggravate flooding.

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