Now a popular family picnic spot, the Mir Alam Tank was built in 1806 by Mir Alam, the then Prime Minister of Hyderabad. It is a mile-long bund formed by 21 arches, built by French engineers, it is claimed. We just go there to picnic and litter. The reservoir was once a major source of piped water supply to the city, but not any more. Now it is unfit for human consumption. But not for animal consumption, apparently.
The water in the tank is highly contaminated with industrial effluents and domestic sewage. The APSPCB (Andhra Pradesh State Pollution Control Board) report shows that the water has toxically high levels of coliform when it should have none at all. The water is acidic, has a dangerously high Ph level, and its hardness is very high as well. Why are we telling you this?
Because animals have died. In just one of several shameful incidents at the Nehru Zoological Park
, a 14-year-old lion died because of dysentery and infection caused by the water, which it was bathed with and probably drank. The animals here are more sensitive than those in the wild, and already suffer from several skin diseases, diarrhoea, cholera and digestive system disorders. I think they'd rather not have a bath, on the whole.
Boating on the lake is popular, and guesthouse accommodation is available for overnight trips. If you're interested, there are mechanised boats, steering boats and speed boats available at reasonable prices. Just ignore the stink. If you're used to the Hussain Sagar
, this should be a walk in the park. Or a swim in sewage.