About 300 Lakes Vanished Without Trace in Indian State Over Last Three Decades

Local authorities of the Indian city of Hyderabad are currently launching efforts in bringing back the vanishing lakes and dying bodies of water in southern India’s Telangana state.

Sputnik International reports about 300 lakes in the capital city are “officially untraceable”.

“As per the data, there are 3,532 lakes in seven districts under Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) jurisdiction. However, about 300 lakes are non-existent,” India Today reports.

So far, the dying lakes have not been located as of yet by the irrigation department. Of these 300 lakes missing, around 100 lakes are untraceable in Ranga Reddy district alone, followed by Medchal-Malkajgiri district, where about 50 lakes were also reported missing.

“We have the data on all the lakes. Physical verification, especially with respect to their extent, is being taken up,” said Arvind Kumar, HMDA Metropolitan Commissioner and Special Chief Secretary.

Meanwhile, collectors of these seven districts are still looking into more information from the irrigation department to certify if these lakes are indeed non-existent. Based on the final information, if so, the lakes will be deleted from the list.

Disappearing Lakes of Hyderabad City


Indians Tackle With Water Crisis In Chennai

(Photo : Photo by Atul Loke/Getty Images)
CHENNAI, INDIA – JUNE 28: Dry bed of Chembarambakkam lake on June 28, 2019 in the outskirts of Chennai, India. 

According to the lakes’ protection committee formed by the state government, the lakes have been missing due to hundreds of new colonies coming up around them in the last two decades.

An article about a 2017 study titled ‘Documenting disappearing water bodies of Hyderabad City’ published in The Hindu states: “The combined water spread under the basins of three lakes which served as major watersheds for Hyderabad city and surrounding areas, has come down by 40% between 1978 and 2013.”

The technical report prepared by the Society for Participatory Development and submitted to the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, revealed that a total of 27 lakes and kuntas under Himayat Sagar, Umda Sagar and Miralam Tank systems have totally disappeared during this period, and more than 10 tanks are “on the verge of disappearance.”

As per the study’s findings, the vanishing lakes in and around city are caused by “rapid urbanisation, dumping of garbage, letting of effluents into the water bodies, encroachments and other reasons.”

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Protection of existing bodies of water than lost ones

The 2017 study suggested that focusing on the protection of existing spread of the water bodies is more important than “squabbling over lost area.”

Reportedly, 19 lakes in Shabad mandal, 17 lakes in Shamshabad, 14 in Balapur mandal, 13 in Maheshwaram, 12 in Abdullapurmet are currently non-existent. However, there were reported discrepancies in the revenue and irrigation records regarding the boundaries and extent of the identified lakes too.

“As several lakes are only in revenue records, a joint survey of revenue and irrigation departments was earlier ordered. The officers have to physically visit the place, survey the lake extent and fix up the Full Tank Level (FTL),” a member of the HMDA committee said.

“Of these 3,532 lakes, the physical survey has been completed for 3,114 lakes so far. However, the final notification will be issued only after receiving information from revenue and irrigation departments as well as the maps,” the officials added.

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