HYDERABAD: A day before Telangana government debates on the proposed Vinayak Sagar, an artificial lake within the environs of Indira Park, for Ganesh idol immersion and boating club, environmentalists and walkers' opposed the 'dangerous' plan tooth and nail.
They said if the government goes ahead with proposed project, the 76-acre park would be cut to size. The idea for a dedicated lake for immersion came apparently in a bid to save Hussainsagar from the ordeal that it is put through during idol immersion.
"With the city already struggling due to lack of lung space, why is the government taking up such an initiative which would further downsize the park? It is being said that the lake would be developed in roughly 20 acres of the park. Adding insult to injury would be new approach roads which would have to be made for cranes (for immersion). This would further eat away more green areas," quipped Dr Sudhakar Yadav, president, Indira Park Walkers' Association.The construction of a man-made lake would eat away most of the nurseries, fountains, the renowned shade garden and a few trees of which some are nearly 250 years old, he clarified. "Already, some areas within the park have been cordoned off

for walkers like the tennis court and the skating rink. If the lake is constructed here, it would be akin to the last nail in the coffin for the walkers," he added.There are close to 5,600 registered walkers across all ages who visit this park daily and fear that the proposed park would displace them. Terming the move 'hasty', environmentalists said, "To avoid polluting Hussainsagar, the government should have enforced eco-friendly clay Ganesh idols rather than planning to develop another lake. The Khairatbad Ganesh Utsav Samiti should have been taken to task on ever-increasing height of the idols every year," said Dr Lubna Sarawath, convenor, save our urban lakes (SOUL).Officials say that the lake would be filled with water from the Hussainsagar, which gives the project another dubious perspective, as residents around Indira Park fear that the polluted waters from it would turn it into another breeding ground for mosquitoes and other parasites. The government plans to use the lake for boating and other recreational purposes after the end of idol immersion. The walkers' association threatened to knock on the judiciary doors on the issue once the government issues a GO on the proposed Vinayak Sagar.

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