Ameenpur lake now biodiversity heritage site

ameenpur-lakeTelangana government has declared Ameenpur lake as a biodiversity heritage site – the first such water body in the country.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhara Rao has given his nod for it today, according to Tejdeep Kaur Menon, in-charge of Telangana Special Protection Force.

“This is the fruition of a sustained effort begun early in 2015 by the Telangana State Special Protection Force to save the 93.15 acre lake with a series of clean up campaigns in and around the lake. Officers and men of the TSSPF spared time on weekends and holidays in the massive exercise to collect and dispose garbage from the lake environs even it was taken up for formal adoption on August 7, 2015” she said in a media release.

The TSSPF has also taken up protection of the lake with its staff stationed at the TSSPF Training Academy patrolling the perimeter of the lake and the lake bed to prevent any blatant violation of conservation measures and other activity that disturbed the birds that flocked to the lake. The TSSPF has also adopted the Ameenpur village and with the help of residents initiated a garbage disposal system in cooperation with the Medak district authorities, the release said.

For sustained efforts to protect the lake, it turned to the Telangana State Pollution Control Board to sample and test waters after it was discovered pollutants from nearby chemical and beverage industries besides sewage from upstream colonies had already percolated into the lake. While some discharged effluents and residential colonies let out their sewage others were drawing water from the lake illegally for processing and use. The Pollution Control Board is now working on putting up a sewage treatment plant with funds provided by the industries in the vicinity of the lake. The TSSPF organized a vanamahotsav in which 4,000 saplings were planted in the dry tracts of the lake bed and on its fringes in 2015.

Even as the TSSPF adopted the lake, it requested the Telangana State Biodiversity Board on July 1 last year to explore the process to get the Ameenpur lake system declared as a Biodiversity Heritage Site. Meanwhile, the TSSPF has consulted and coordinated its effort with several departments and other entities to protect the lake so that the species that flock to the lake come there in larger numbers. These departments include Irrigation, Revenue, Mines, Fisheries, Municipal and Urban Development and entities like the state pollution control board, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority and the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board and Department of Irrigation, the release said.

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