A talk was organized by Shape Your Thoughts Club (SYT) of College for Integrated Studies(CIS) on 13th August . The topic Recreation in pollution: Hussain Sagar Lake in Hyderabad was presented by Dr. Prajna Paramita Mishra, Assistant Professor in the School of Economics, University of Hyderabad.

She has a doctoral degree from the University of Hyderabad in Economics. Her area of specialization is area of environment and natural resource economics. The talk dealt with the research she started back in 2011, funded by SANDEE (South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics).

Hussain Sagar one of the most important recreational spaces in Hyderabad, also in vicinity of Lumbini Park,NTR Gardens and Sanjeevaiah Park is a site which attracts lots of public. But the pollution has become a hindering factor for the incoming traffic of tourists and visitors. She pointed out how now this polluted water body once used to fulfill drinking water requirements of the city. She showed that many a sewer lines dumped their waste in the lake, though some sewage treatment plant came up still the waste draining in the lake was a big issue. As was the case the visitors coming to Lumbini Park were complaining about the water pollution and the odour.Seeing the scenario HMDA collaborated with JICA and started Buddha Purnima Project to take care of the recreational space in around Hussain Sagar.

Her research revolved around formulating a policy as to how to draw people towards these recreational spaces and its implementation. The research question was – how much are the people willing to pay for the recreational facilities offered by the lake. Through this she explained how to conduct research, choose the sample population, variables and finally implementing the research outcomes. Her population sample comprised of 800 respondents .The method employed to choose the 800 respondents from the five zones created by GHMC was extensively explained. The study conducted by her was the second study in Asia to have a combination of both On Site as well as Off Site respondent. From her study she drew the conclusion that -citizens are aware of the need for the improvement around the lake, most importantly they are willing to pay for the improvement. -there was a suggestion to hike the entry fees to the Lumbini park as it falls adjacent to Hussain Sagar .This will generate revenue which can be employed for recreational purpose. Her research project conclusion were implemented which resulted in an increase in the entry fees of the park from rupees 10 to 20.

She also took up the research further to see how the policy implementation brought changes. Of course it was found that when there is an increase in the price the demand became less. There was a dip in the year 2016-17 in comparison to 2015-16 in the number of people visiting Lumbini park. But revenue collection was very high in the year 2016-17 after fee hike. This revenue is employed for the recreational facilities. She concluded her presentation by highlighting the importance of valuation studies and how to take people preference into account.

-Zeenat Shana, Department of Communication