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Hyderabad: With Ganesh Chaturthi fast approaching, the irrigation department is digging immersion pits near nine lakes simultaneously measuring 43 metres by 43 metres and four metres deep. The cost of construction is estimated to be Rs 7 crore.

These lakes are being built at Hussainsagar and at Kapra, Cherlapally, Balanagar, Jeedimetla, Kukatpally, Raidurgam, Nallagandla and Mansurabad lakes. Construction of one tank is yet to be taken up in Peddacheruvu at Gangaram near Chandanagar.

The separate idol immersion tanks is part of the Irrigation department plan of having such tanks at 44 lakes under GHMC limits.

While the target for this year are these 10 lakes, 20 lakes are planned for the nextyear. The remaining tanks will be constructed near 14 lakes in the year after that.  All the pits will have ramps wide enough to accommodate tractors.

A senior official from the irrigation department said that water in these tanks would be pumped in from the lakes. After the immersion is over, the polluted water will be pumped out into sewage.  Once the polluted water is pumped out, heavy vehicles will clean silt from the tank.

Mr C.S. Chandrashekar, secretary of Federation of North East Colonies of Secunderabad, which has been conducting weekly cleaning drives at the Kapra Lake, said, “This is a welcome move to protect lakes from pollution and to conserve biodiversity. However, it would prove more helpful if the government erects barricades with entrance gates around the lakes to prevent encroachments..”