was once a sprawling city speckled with placid lakes
and serene ponds. It was often referred to as the
'city of lakes' during Nizam's era. But times have
changed so as the landscapes. Lakes were converted
into residential colonies and garbage dumping grounds
and the lush green trees that once dotted the city
dwindled in number.
In this backdrop, Builders Forum, an association
of builders resurrected a dying pond by converting
it into a beautiful water body encompassing blooming
lotus flowers and blossoming water lilies. Named
as Lotus pond, the oval shaped water body
located at Road # 12, Banjara Hills Extn, was once
a grazing ground for cattle, swimming pool for the
people, garbage and sewerage dumping ground for
local residents and also a dhobighat for the washermen.
"The pond has been neglected over the years
leading to rapid deterioration of the water body.
Builders Forum seeing the inherent scope for beautifying
the area embarked upon an ambitious project of developing
the pond with the help from Municipal Corporation
of Hyderabad," said Mr Yoganand, Secretary,
Builders Forum. The Lotus pond is categorised under
eco-conservation project as it has been built without
disturbing the natural habitat present there.
Builders Forum has done a tremendous work in resurrecting
the pond. First, the storage capacity of the lake
was improved by increasing the vent level by more
than five feet and constructing a bund all around
the lake. The same bund constructed with Bangalore
stone slabs with grass joints near the entrance
of the pond has been developed as a pathway. The
sloped surface of the bund is pitched with rubble
stone, which has enhanced the beauty of lake. "It
has taken four months to clean and remove about
500 lorry loads of waste material such as garbage,
debris, plastic bags etc. The sewerage and garbage
from the local residential houses have been prevented
from spoiling the pond. The municipal authorities
relocated about eighty families of washer men from
Lotus pond. As a result of above efforts there is
a lot of improvement in the ground water levels
with the water table going up in the surrounding
areas," said Mr Yoganand standing in the
newly laid lawns of the Lotus pond.
pond is wearing a picturesque look today. The entire
pond is now surrounded by lush green trees, colourful
gardens and a 1.2 km greenish pathway for the visitors
to enjoy the beauty of the pond. The pond which
is spread across eleven acres is also a home to
twenty species of birds like Indian Moorhen,
pied kingfisher,white wagtail, little grebe, coot,
shoveller, small blue kingfisher, purple sunbird,
little egret, Indian small skylark, piktail etc.
"Lotus pond provides delight to any bird
watcher," said Mr Yoganand. One can find
some rare and exotic birds taking a dip in the water
and strolling along the lake banks.
After doing so much work the Builders Forum is still
not satisfied. It is planning to beautify the lake
further by acquiring surrounding seven acres of
land which will be utilised for building a cascade
and the surrounding hills will be utilised for training
trekking enthusiasts. "We have invested
up to thirty five lakhs in shaping the lake and
will invest fifteen lakhs more in near future,"
said Mr. Yoganand revealing the future plans.