Hyderabad: Soon, the birds of Hussainsagar will have islands of their own in the middle of the lake. Complete with trees and green growth, these islands will also provide appropriate space for nests for birds which migrate to the city from miles away.
In an unique exercise, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) has initiated work at Hussainsagar to develop a chain of islands that will be exclusive homes for birds. These land masses are being created using large quantities of silt that is being dredged close to the confluence of the Kukatpally nala in the water body.
As part of the Hussainsagar cleaning initiative, the HMDA a few years ago had taken up dredging of the lake sediment at confluence points of four inlets — Banjara nala, Balapur nala, Picket nala and Kukatpally inlet.
While work on the first three was completed and most of the dredged sediment was shifted to dumping yards, questions arose about the fate of the Kukatpally inlet confluence as the sediment there was found to be hazardous. Among others, analysis of the sediment from the Kukatpally nala, which brings in polluted water and discharges from industrial clusters, had shown high presence of hazardous cadmium.
Since dumping of the hazardous sediment at regular dumping yards is not allowed, the dredging of this inlet confluence was held back all these days.
To solve the predicament, the HMDA has decided to dredge the sediment and build these islands which could be given good green cover.
Officials estimate that at least 3.50 lakh cubic metre of silt and material is to be dredged and the same would be used layer upon layer to build the islands. “The dredged material, we estimate, will help us create around four islands spread over two to three acres each,” said an official. Part of the silt, as it accumulates and strengthens, would get submerged and the rest stays afloat, he explained.
The whole exercise also does not cost much as the amphibian excavators deployed at the water body were doing the job of dredging and accumulating the silt. The project looks at dotting these islands with big and small trees which could be useful for birds to nest and also create appropriate conditions for them to lay eggs on the ground.
Officials pointed out that after the cleaning exercise was taken up, the bird presence at Hussainsagar had gone up and more birds were being spotted.