To enlist public participation in bringing back the pristine glory of the picturesque Hussain Sagar lake in Hyderabad, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) has launched a forum.
The 'Forum for a Clean Hussain Sagar' is a platform for concerned citizens to share, discuss, initiate and also execute programmes that will help clean the Hussain Sagar lake, HMDA officials said. Spread across an area of around five kms, Hussain Sagar, the scenic lake in the heart of Hyderabad was built by Hazrat Hussain Shah Wali in 1562 during the rule of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah initially to meet the irrigation and drinking water needs of the city.
Though it is an artificial lake, it holds water perennially. Over the years, it has become a tourist spot and bears the identity of the city. A huge statue of Gautam Buddha was installed in the middle of the lake and several parks and scenic spots were developed making it a major tourist destination in the city. However, the inflow of domestic sewage and industrial effluents have polluted the lake. Besides these, during the ten-day Ganesh festivity, thousands of idols are immersed in the lake. Consequently, the lake that was once the identity and pride of the city is now fighting for its existence.
The HMDA has taken up Hussain Sagar Lake and Catchment Area Improvement Project (HCIP) with the assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Although significant progress has been made under the JICA-assisted HCIP Project, there is still much to be done in terms of increasing awareness among the people and changing behaviour, the officials said.
The objectives of the forum are to establish a 'people's movement' to clean and protect Hussain Sagar lake, to initiate and execute programmes that will prevent pollution of the lake and ultimately to change people's domestic and public sanitation habits, they said.
The membership of the forum is open to individuals, corporates, PSUs, IT/ITES, government departments, NGOs and educational institutions, among others, the officials said. The members of the forum would undertake programmes that will create awareness on issues faced by the lake, execute programmes to prevent lake pollution, participate in HMDA activities and act as a source of information on prevention of lake pollution. The members can join the forum on a special website created for the purpose and also on Facebook.
The advantages of being a member are permission to use the forum logo in all promotional literature concerning Hussain Sagar, guidance from HMDA and members in organising effective public awareness campaigns, invitation to events conducted by HMDA concerning a Clean Hussain Sagar lake, a Forum Excellence Award, recognition from senior government dignitaries for meritorious work, during public functions.