Chepala Cheruvu

Chepala Cheruvu
Highlights

Chepala Cheruvu, located in Saroornagar, is one of the natural lakes in the city. During the time of the Nizams, it was largely used for agriculture and allied activities.

Chepala Cheruvu, located in Saroornagar, is one of the natural lakes in the city. During the time of the Nizams, it was largely used for agriculture and allied activities.

The lake is covered with contruction debris

This lake, which was initially spread over 16 acres, has now been reduced to less than 6 acres due to massive encroachments. There are no markings of Full Tank Level (FTL) limits or buffer zones. The lake is even devoid of water. All one can see is a huge pile of construction debris, which is being used to level the land so that it can be converted into plots and sold for huge money.

History:

The lake was named Chepala Cheruvu due to the abundance of fish, and served as a source of livelihood for fishermen.

Kailakonda Ramakrishna (70) recalled his younger days, when it was a sprawling lake and the water was used for drinking, irrigation and fishing. “There used to be a bund and we used to walk on this to reach school and other villages. Some locals at that time partially broke the bund with an intention to dry the lake. At that time my father and others had rebuilt the bund. But subsequently the bund was broken again and again until it vanished and the lake became dry. In those days there were three kuntas -- Nadimi Kunta, Meedi Kunta and Kindi Kunta and the rain water used to flow through these before joining Chepala Cheruvu. Now these are things of past,” he reminisces.

Roads and layouts were marked in the encroached lake

Problems:

“We inspected the lake in August last year and filed petitions with the collector, revenue divisional officer, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) officials to take action against land sharks and save the lake by marking boundaries and erecting a mesh to save it from encroachment. But to our surprise no action whatsoever has been taken till date and the land sharks have come up with a board stating that the land belongs to them. Cases were slapped against the encroachers and most of the lands are under subjudice but revenue officials failed to submit details of the lake to the court until now,” lamented Lubna Sarwath, member of Save Our Urban Lakes (SOUL).

“All our complaints were in vain and the lake is gradually turning into a concrete jungle. Unless the government and other nodal agencies act swiftly to address the issue, this place will become another Masab Tank or Picket, which used to be lakes at one point of time,” she added.

She appealed to the chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and minister for irrigation T Harish Rao to take appropriate action to save the historical lake, revive it past glory and restore its ecological value.

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