Nation Current Affairs 17 Feb 2016 It’s now lakes ...

It’s now lakes vs locals

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | KAMALAPATHI RAO H
Published Feb 17, 2016, 3:57 am IST
Updated Feb 17, 2016, 3:57 am IST
Residents want Himayatsagar, Osmansagar protection order junked.
A view of the Himayatsagar reservoir. (Photo: DC)
 A view of the Himayatsagar reservoir. (Photo: DC)

Hyderabad: From the common man to peoples’ representatives in Moinabad mandal of Ranga Reddy district, everyone is on the warpath seeking exemption from GO-111, which bans multi-storey buildings in a 10-km radius of Osmansagar and Himayatsagar lakes. Although these villages are very close to the IT corridor and Hyderabad city, there has been no development because of the two-decade-old GO, which was meant to protect the lakes which were used for drinking water.

Now, the city’s drinking water comes mostly from Manjeera, Krishna and Godavari. People and local representatives from 12 villages of Moinabad mandal and 40 of Shamsha-bad mandal are fighting the GO for a decade. In the past week, they have geared up their agitations: people from Moi-nabad are putting pressure on peoples’ representatives, from sarpan-ches to the local MP and the district minister. Chevella MLA Kale Yadaiah said the decision of including several villages, through which no canal passes to Gandipet and Himayatsagar, in the GO was weird.

 

“We have held a padayatra from Anantagiri hills, where the river Musi begins, to these two lakes. Most of the villages under GO-111 have no connectivity with either the river Musi or any canal,” he said. About the necessity of the GO in 1996, he said, “At that time the entire city was being supplied drinking water from these two lakes which have a capacity of 2 TMC each. If the government supplies water from these lakes now, they will dry up in two days,” he said.

Asked about the assurance made by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao about cancelling the GO when Mr Yadaiah was joining the TRS on November 16, 2014, he said, “As per the assurance given by the CM, he has appointed a committee and its report is yet to be submitted.” He added that he, along with representatives from local bodies, had met the collector and Chevella MP Konda Visweshwar Reddy.  “We will meet Panchayat Raj minister K.T. Rama Rao and district minister P. Mahender Reddy seeking cancellation of the GO,” he said. Mumthuzaguda sarpanch from Moinabad mandal told DC that the GO had become a “Shani” for 84 villages. “We will fight until the government cancels the GO,” he said.

 

Lake order has stamp of top court:

The Supreme Court has ruled that GO-111 cannot be amended. The court said in 2000 that the government should search for alternatives for the villagers. The High Court had issued directions to the government to take action against illegal constructions and layouts which violated the GO in the areas surrounding Osmansagar and Himayatsagar.

The Chief Minister had sought a report from the irrigation department on the possibilities of cancelling the GO. The department in November 2014 replied, focusing on implementing the GO to protect the two lakes. The GO-111 was issued by the municipal administration and urban development department in March 1996, bringing 84 villages that fall in the catchment area of the two lakes under a bio-conservation zone.

 

It prohibits polluting industries, major hotels, residential colonies and commercial establishments in the catchment areas up to 10 km from Full Tank Level. The land use of about 90 per cent of the area is classified as recreational and conservation in the master plan. Buildings up to G+2 can be allowed in village settlement areas (Grama Kantam).

Protesters move HC on lake order:

The GO 111 Porata Samstha, represented by P. Kaushik Reddy, and several individuals has approached the Hyderabad High Court challenging the legality and validity of GO No 111. The government had issued the GO to stop construction activity in the catchment areas of Himayatsagar and Osmansagar, drinking water sources for the twin cities. The petitioners submitted that the living conditions of locals had become miserable due to the ban on developmental activities within a 10 km radius of the two lakes. They urged the court to direct the authorities to frame a policy after undertaking a comprehensive study related to the lakes and take a decision in the larger interest of the people.

 

The petitioners urged the court to appoint a committee of experts and from regulatory bodies like the Pollution Control Board, GHMC, HMDA and Water Board to do a comprehensive study related to the prohibited areas mentioned in the GO. The committee should file a report before the court for necessary orders, they added.

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Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad




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