Hyderabad was founded
in 1591 by Mohd Quli Qutub Shah on the banks of Musi river.
The city has a glorious tradition of tanks built by the rulers.
The first source of water supply to Hyderabad was from Hussainsagar
lake. Named after Hussain Shah Wali, the lake was built in 1562
on the tributary of Musi. It covered an area of 8 sq miles.
In 1891, a slow-sand filter was set up in Narayanguda, and the
lake was used to provide drinking water. The water of Hussainsagar
was sufficient for the people of Hyderabad then.
Most of the tanks in Hyderabad were built by Qutub Shah (1564-1724
AD), and his successor Asaf Jahi (1724-1948 AD). As population
grew, two other tanks, Himayatsagar (built in 1927) and Osamansagar
(built in 1913) started supplying water to the twin cities
of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, which were constructed to control
floods after the 1908 inundation of the city.
Pollution and encroachment
Pollution levels in the tanks have been going up. Hussainsagar
lake, which has recently been developed into a tourist centre
by the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority, stinks of sulphur
fumes and is extremely filthy. The quality of Hussainsagar water
has gradually deteriorated during the last 20-30 years, mainly
owing to the continual ingress of untreated domestic sewage
and industrial effluents.