Social activists oppose retraction of GO 111
Deccan Chronicle.| Narender Pulloor
Prof. D. Narasimha Reddy. (Image Source: linkedin.com)
HYDERABAD: Social activists, who are strongly opposed to the withdrawal of GO 111 to facilitate developmental activities around Osmansagar and Himayatsagar, said that the decision to withdraw it is unscientific and lacks stakeholders’ support.
Activists are planning to visit all 84 villages covered under GO 111 to create awareness of environmental issues.
On Thursday, the Hyderabad Social Media Forum conducted a seminar at the Guruswamy Centre, questioning the silence of political parties on the issue. They alleged that leaders, bureaucrats and influential persons were reaping benefits from the government’s decision.
The seminar saw the participation of economist Mohan Guruswamy, retired IAS officer Akunuri Murali, professors Purushotham Reddy, Donthi Narasimha Reddy and Subba Rao, heritage activist Anuradha Reddy, advocates Rachana Reddy, Srinivas Yadav and P.L. Nagesh, and Old City TJAC convener Shahabaz Ali.
Murali called on people to unite to protect their interests. "People are facing a lot of problems due to the intentions of the rulers. Scrapping of GO 111 would not only affect the people of Hyderabad, but it would affect the entire Telangana," he said.
Prof. Narasimha Reddy said that destroying the catchment area of twin reservoirs would bring ecological problems. To protect the hydrological regime, previous governments issued several orders over Osmansagar and Himayatsagar reservoirs, he said.
"Of 2,000 sq km, the government eased restrictions for 314 sq km, but it would bring serious environmental issues," he said.
Rachana Reddy criticised Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao for ignoring the opinions of domestic experts on key issues. "Sustainable environmental issues have been neglected by the government. In view of Supreme Court guidelines on environmental protection, twin reservoirs will be protected by social activists soon," she said.
The forum passed a resolution condemning the withdrawal of GO 111.
"The decision of the BRS government would adversely affect the livelihood of the people. On the pretext of development, the government is favouring the rich people and outsiders. Himayatsagar and Osmansagar should be recognised as heritage centres. Illegal constructions downstream of the twin reservoirs should be prevented," the resolution read.