Hussain Sagar’s banks support scores of eateries which are popular among Hyderabadis. But are the reeking premises of the lake an ideal eating spot?
Hussain Sagar, with its natural beauty, is a hotspot for the citizens to unwind. Quite naturally, a plethora of food and beverage restaurants have spawned in this area, with their ultimate selling point being the location overlooking the lake.
However, the grim reality of the situation is that many of these joints are not operating legally in the area. Some hotels and entertainment parks have gone to the extent of dumping their sewage into the lake, disregarding environmental rules and the already contaminated condition of the lake. Sewage treatment plants or STP’s, which are mandatory for any recreational park or eatery is absent.
Leased to the Tourism Board by the Pollution Control Board of Andhra Pradesh, the one kilometer stretch is filled with eateries. The opposite end of the lake also harbours a multi-speciality hospital and other restaurants. Law demands that any commercial establishment present on the lake bank should have consent for establishment(establishment (CFE) and consent for operation (CFO) issued by the pollution control board.
Environmental engineer of the PCB, D Krupanand said,
“Jalavihar and Ohri’s have been issued notices for not operating an STP in their establishment. The matter is yet to be resolved as the case is lodged in the Supreme Court. These establishments do not possess a consent for operation and despite several notices to which they have not responded to, they have a free hand in running their businesses.”
It is surprising that many of these restaurants’ businesses thrive despite their location on the edge of a stinking lake. There is no concern for health and safety. Manager of the Waterfront restaurant says, “Being a closed restaurant, we only offer a view of the lake. There is no stink or smell seeping into our restaurant. Also, we are very regular in paying the GHMC to collect and treat our sewage and garbage.”
Eat Street which offers a panoramic view of the lake is supposedly one of the best eateries in Hyderabad. Even the general public seems to have no qualms about eating next to a stinking swamp of toxins, as many people seem to wave away any health concern.
Rahul Rao, a regular at Eat Street says, “I barely spend more than half an hour here. The food is good and the view of the lake is great, which is more than satisfactory for me. Besides, eating here is relatively lighter on my pocket as compared to the other posh areas in the City.”
Last year, a multi-speciality hospital was charged for not operating an STP to treat their own sewage. After serious efforts by the PCB and the HMDA, the hospital now possesses a fully working sewage treatment plant.However, the thriving eateries have found cover with the judiciary that has allegedly ignored their case. When contacted regarding this issue, the general manager of Jalavihar refused to comment.
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