Cry, for my beloved city
Why does development have to come at the cost of heritage? Why can’t both co-exist?
Durgam Cheravu. The Secret Lake.
The hydrological engineers of Qutab Shahi times knew what they were doing. Durgam Cheravu, more than any of the canons that dot the periphery of the fortificaitons, was the secret weapon.
The water from the lake was piped into Golconda Fort through hidden channels. With its own assured water supply, the Fort could withstand every siege. Till it fell to treachery, it was the only major fort in the Deccan never to have been conquered. It remains the only major fort never to have falled to siege.
Today, those rock formations are being leveled. The banjaras are restricted to selling glittering ballons are traffic lights and lending their name to a posh oslocality. And Golconda Fort is sinking under a pile of garbage. Why should Durgam Cheravu be spared?
Encroached, illegally built upon, concretised, beautified. Durgam Cheravu, today, barely retains any of its old untrampled beauty. Since the natural topography of the land around it has been disturbed, rainwater can no longer find its way to lake. HiTech City Road turns into a stream after a slightest shower. Ten minutes of rain cause a traffic pile up that lasts hours.
To avoid those traffic jams, a bridge had to be constructed over Durgam Cheravu, further disturbing the natural patterns of the lake. The bridge disengorges traffic onto Rd No 45.
To manage the additional traffic, a flyover will have to come up on the road, for which my beloved Saptaparnis of Rd No 45 will have to go.
That flyover will shift the bottleneck to the other end of the road- the side which ends at the road ringing KBR Park.
An interchange will have to come up there. The Rocks around the periphery will be levelled. The habitat of generations of peacocks will go. A swanky cloverleaf junction will come up there.
One spot at a time, the last remenants of the natural heritage of my city will be snuffed out. To be replaced by structures that can be illuminated in garish colours on public holidays.
Permit me to not join in the celebrations of the inauguration of the newest landmark in my city.
Permit me to cry. To cry for my city. To cry for a nation that believes development can only come at the cost of the environment.