Rangareddy district collector V Seshadri on Monday issued orders to stall all construction activity at the over 240-year-old Rukn-ud-Daula lake in Shivarampally, after locals alleged that the water body was being encroached upon by a private party. Residents alleged that a wall was being constructed right on the bed of the historic lake to encroach about 8-10 acres of the area (total area: 40 acres) for commercial use.
But despite the collector’s directive, work was on in full swing at the site on Tuesday, which prompted the city activists to report the matter to the local mandal revenue office. Construction was stalled by late evening.
Activists alleged that the work was initiated by a local resident about 15 days ago for residential plots on the lake area.
Though the district collector intervened in the case and issued orders to stall the activity on the lake bed on Monday, work on the wall continued on Tuesday.
Quoting from the rule-book, the activists present at the site on Tuesday said that the construction was in violation of the Andhra Pradesh Water, Land and Trees Act (WALTA) which clearly states that no concrete structure can be built on an area measuring up to 30 metres from the boundary of the lake. This wall, however, was coming up right at the tip of the water body.
Concerned about the developments, city old-timers said the centuries-old lake had huge heritage value as it was constructed way back in 1770 by Nawab Rukn-ud-Daula, prime minister of the third Nizam. The clean water from the lake was used for drinking not only by the locals of the area but even by the Nizam’s family, they claimed, adding that the original size of the water body was close to 104 acres. They said that encroachments over the last few decades had shrunk the lake significantly and even polluted the water. With the present encroachment, the lake is likely to shrink by another 10-12 acres.
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