Hyderabad: In a boost for lake protection in the city, the National Green Tribunal has taken stock of the increasing encroachment of the Ameenpur lake and has issued orders to chief secretary, Somesh Kumar, to see if the full tank level (FTL) has been fixed. It has also directed him to ascertain whether the water bodies in the state especially those in and around the Ameenpur village have the FTL fixed and encroachments identified.
The tribunal asked the Chief Secretary to file a report in four months. The report has to include data on the FTL of the lake, buffer zone fixed from the FTL to be declared as a non-development zone, whether all water bodies have been inventorised and notified under the Wetlands Rules of 2017, if there any encroachments and what steps have been taken by the authorities to remove them.
The tribunal has also asked the state government about the steps it has taken to prevent further encroachments, whether there is dumping of garbage and discharge in the lakes and has also questioned the water quality of the water bodies.
In its interim order, the tribunal said: “Admitting to the existence of water bodies in the village and also admitting their statutory duty to maintain the water bodies, it has been mentioned that a joint committee was formed to inspect the water bodies and note the encroachments and action to be taken in this regard.”
The tribunal mentioned that in some of the water bodies there are encroachments and a request has been made for the fixing the FTL after which further action will be taken.
From the statements that were filed in 2017, the NGT has understood that some of the encroachments were removed and further encroachments if any will be removed on ascertaining the FTL. The present status is not known, the tribunal said. The petitioner, one Thakur Rajkumar Singh, told Deccan Chronicle: “I have received the orders only on Wednesday evening. I was appalled at the number of constructions that have come up on the lakes and water bodies in the lake’s network.” He added that this move would deter people from encroaching onto the water bodies in the state....