Impact of Urban Growth on Water Bodies – The Case of Hyderabad

C. Ramachandraiah, Sheela Prasad
JEL codes: 
Working Paper No. 60 September 2004

Being located in the Deccan Plateau region, Hyderabad city has been dotted
with a number of lakes, which formed very important component of its
physical environment. With the increasing control of the State and private
agencies over the years, and rapid urban sprawl of the city, many of the
water bodies have been totally lost. Many have been shrunk in size while
the waters of several lakes got polluted with the discharge of untreated
domestic and industrial effluents. This study makes an attempt to analyse
the transformation of common property resources (the lakes) into private
property. The adverse consequences of the loss of water bodies are felt
in the steep decline in water table and the resultant water crisis in several
areas. Further, the severity of flooding that was witnessed in August 2000
was also due to a reduction in the carrying capacity of lakes and water
channels. The State has not bothered to either implement the existing laws
or pay attention to the suggestions of environmental organisations in this
regard. The paper argues that in this process of loss of water bodies in
Hyderabad, the State is as much responsible as private agencies in terms
of the policies that it has formulated and the lack of ensuring legislation and