Cracks in Mir Alam Tank: Hyderabad Zoo Safari Park prone to flooding

The Zoo authorities have closed down the Safari Zone while the remaining part of the Zoo is open to the public. Authorities informed that all animals in Safari Park are in their night enclosures and are safe.

By Amrutha Kosuru  Published on  13 July 2022 9:31 AM GMT
Cracks in Mir Alam Tank: Hyderabad Zoo Safari Park prone to flooding

If Hyderabadis wake up to find lions, tigers, elephants, and other animals from the zoo enclosures on a water-inundated Mir Alam Tanks' cable bridge, they shouldn't be surprised as incessant rains flood the Safari park of Hyderabad Zoo. This year too it is the same situation.

A similar situation was observed over the years since the year 2000.

The Zoo authorities have closed down the Safari Zone while the remaining part of the Zoo is open to the public. Authorities informed that all animals in Safari Park are in their night enclosures and are safe.

"Cracks developed in the Mir Alam Tank several years ago. These cracks might get worse and the zoo may get fully flooded- forcing the animals out of their enclosures," said B V Subba Rao, water and climate change expert.

The cracks were first spotted in July 2015 during an inspection by private bodies. Water has been slowly seeping in through these fissures ever since. "Even very little rainfall will force the lake water to come inside the Safari Park in Hyderabad Zoo," Subba Rao said.

Mr. Subba Rao pointed out that this isn't the first time the water from the Mir Alam Tank has made its way into the zoo. He says it happens almost every monsoon. He said that the quality of water in Mir Alam Tank is quite questionable. "Contaminated water will have a negative effect on animals," he said.

He says that even after the cracks were spotted no action was taken. "The State Government, GHMC, Pollution Control Board, and the irrigation department have been sleeping on this issue like Kumbhakarnas on this," he says.

Mr. Subba Rao explained that the lake restoration activity (12-feet ring bund) taken up by the government is one of the main reasons for the cracks in the tank. "Nearly 30% of the lake's storage is lost due to the bund. Furthermore, no studies were conducted regarding what would happen when 30% of the lake's capacity would be lost," he explained. He said the encroachment also plays a huge role in polluting the water.

Mir Alam Tank holds significant historical and hydrological importance. Water from Mir Alam Tank is still supplied to part of Old City. "As a child, I found the Mir Alam Tank water to have a unique taste- it was a bit sweet. No one knows why it had a unique taste. There was also a rumor that the Nizam carried gallons of water from Mir Alam Tank if he was traveling outside Hyderabad," Mr. Subba Rao said.

"On the other hand, the Hyderabad Zoo Park is a big lung space for the city. Both of these need to be saved before it's too late," he added.

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