Tuesday morning began with plenty of flotsam for the activists of Dhruvansh, an NGO working on revival of the Neknampur Lake, near Gandipet of Ranga Reddy district.
Initially, they thought the garbage afloat in the lake constituted of flowers, and ‘puja’ articles, routinely immersed in nearest lake by the faithful. However, as the specks approached closer, they were shocked to see a mini supermarket floating.
“We fished out shampoo bottles, juice bottles, milk packets, instant noodles, and other packed food items. Then we understood that someone has taken refuge in the dark of the previous night to dump expired supermarket products in the lake,” said Madhulika Choudhary of Dhruvansh.
What’s more, all the packaging material that washed ashore was unmistakably stamped by a popular retail store chain, which has many outlets in the city.
After Ms.Choudhary posted pictures of the fished-out material on various social media platforms and informed the officials concerned, the Revenue department moved to act, and filed a police complaint about the same. “We have conducted an enquiry, and our Village Revenue Officer lodged a complaint with Gandipet police,” said an official from the department.
Telangana State Pollution Control Board has initiated the work to clear the lake of the jettisoned merchandise. However, no notices have been served so far on the retail chain store nor on the group which owns the store, though all the packages were stamped with the stickers displaying the store’s name. As per law, it is the store’s responsibility to ensure that the expired products are disposed of safely.
GHMC has not responded to the incident, and attempts to reach Commissioner M. Dana Kishore went in vain.
Neknampur lake is among 19 tanks taken up by GHMC for development and beautification with an expenditure of ₹283 crore. Cycle-borne workers armed with whistles and sporting special uniforms were to be deployed to guard the lakes, but the plan is yet to materialise.