Hussain Sagar is one of the most recognized and probably one of the major surviving lakes of Hyderabad, which was once referred to as a city of lakes. Of course, over the years many have dried out or encroached upon, but Hussain Sagar has a different problem altogether. It is fully polluted and full of different types of waste that has been dumped into it over many decades. Especially, during the Ganesh immersion season, lots of idols made of plaster of Paris were dumped into it, till strict rules have been passed to shift to environment friendly materials.
Today, the commuters can smell the stench emanating from the lake and the water is highly polluted. The new government of Telangana has decided to drain the lake completely and clean the bed. In theory, the idea sounds manageable with the right resources and expertise. But never in history have such attempts been made to drain a lake as large as Hussain Sagar which is spread approximately over an area of 4.4 sq km, both in India and abroad. Some experts say that while small lakes have been cleared out in the past, draining out a lake of this size and then cleaning up the waste on the bed might be a humungous task.
Also, the pollutants piled up in Hussain Sagar could be highly toxic, they warn. Right now, it is being hotly debated as to whether the city can stand the stench emanating from the lake bed once it is drained. Similarly, removing bed soil and other pollutants and shifting them to another location maybe another big task. It is being roughly estimated that nearly 50,000 acres of land would be required to dump the polluted dug up from the 30 feet deep lake bed. So, the next question is, where will they find such a vast space? However, there are others who say that the task is achievable, providing there is clear-cut planning and equally clear line of execution with strict adherence to deadlines.
To begin with, all the nalas being drained into Hussain Sagar need to be diverted and then the lake has to be drained. Then measures have to be taken to help the city people handle the stench till the bed is completely cleared. In the past, efforts were made to clean the lake. But none of them got the desired results. So, many experts feel that while the idea is laudable and necessary, it is equally important to have a water-tight plan in hand before starting the process to prevent any serious health hazards later.