Hyderabad: Fresh encroachments have been identified in the catchment area of Himayatsagar and Osmansagar reservoirs. The revenue department of Ranga Reddy district found in a recent land survey it conducted 8,650 encroachments spread across 84 villages that fall in the buffer zone of the two reservoirs. GO 111 specifies a 10-km radius around the lakes where polluting establishments should not come up. Public hearings are to be held in the first week of August about whether the GO should continue.
A committee set up by the government for re-servoir restoration co-mprises bureaucrats who head various government agencies. The encroachments in violation of GO 111 are high rise buildings (above G+3 floors), and the violators include engineering and medical institutions, resorts, gated communities, farm houses etc. They are mostly in the mandals of Gandipet, Shamshabad, Shankarpally and Rajendranagar. A source said that there are no encroachments in the full tank level, and they occur mostly in the catchment area.
“The district revenue department is responsible. The Water Board has stopped drawing drinking water from the two century-old reservoirs and Hyderabad’s water supply is dependent on the Krishna and Godavari rivers. This point, that the reservoir water is not needed, will weaken the case to continue with GO 111,” he said. The price for an acre of land in these mandals is around Rs 30lakh -Rs 40 lakh. If GO 111 is relaxed, the prices will skyrocket to crores. A member of the committee appointed to study the provisions of GO 111 said there would be no dilution of the order.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said, “The panel has appointed experts from the NGRI and The Energy Research Institute for a scientific study of the GO 111 area. They will geo-mark the buffer and full tank zone to help identify encroachments in the future. This independent view of the GO cannot be influenced by the state government. The same will be represented before the High Court.”...