Repeal of GO 111 will prove disastrous: Experts
Deccan Chronicle.| Bansari trivedi J
The scrapping of the GO will lead to mushrooming of concrete structures in the catchment areas of Himayatsagar and Osmansagar
The scrapping of the GO will lead to mushrooming of concrete structures in the catchment areas of Himayatsagar and Osmansagar, the twin reservoirs which were the lifelines of twin cities until not long ago. (Representational Image/ DC)
Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao’s proposal to scrap GO 111, if implemented, will eventually result in urban flooding and disturb ecological balance, say experts.
The scrapping of the GO will lead to mushrooming of concrete structures in the catchment areas of Himayatsagar and Osmansagar, the twin reservoirs which were the lifelines of twin cities until not long ago. This would cause the city to lose nine per cent of existing groundwater, which is present in the deep (confined) aquifer of the reservoirs.
A groundwater department official said due to rapid urbanisation, 40 per cent of water from different sources enter nalas and flows eventually into the Musi. Another 41 per cent of water evaporates due to the alarming rise in temperatures. A mere 10 per cent of water enters the soil.
According to groundwater department officials, once the twin reservoirs are polluted due to rapid urbanisation, it would be near impossible to revive the lakes. Industrial waste flowing into the lakes will make matters worse, resulting in polluting the groundwater. Authorities said a new scenario would arise where the area would face water crisis and urban flooding at the same time.
"These two reservoirs are old and historic ones that catered to the water needs of the city, especially drinking water. Urbanisation already has adverse effects on groundwater. Construction of roads, buildings, industries and other amenities to city residents will make matters worse. The development would prevent surface water from infiltrating into the ground," the official said. He said if infiltrated, the industrial pollutants would contaminate groundwater and even construction of rainwater harvesting pits would not help.
"Twin reservoirs are the main source of groundwater in the area. Once the development takes place in the catchment areas, the structures would restrict free flow of water through the feeder channels and natural flow would be eventually disturbed," said Dr Narasimha Reddy Donthi, an independent environment policy expert. This apart, he said, the humidity would also increase due to loss of water space, green space and open space.
Kalpana Ramesh, environmentalist and water conservationist, said that if GO 111 was revoked and development encouraged, then there was a threat to the lakes as they would become a pool of sewage. "There must be a development process in place that is connected to the water storage. The development must be like that of an eco-sensitive zone where rainwater harvesting is of utmost importance.
The development in villages must be defined and should not become another concrete jungle like Madhapur and Kukatpally. There is nothing to cry about now as the violation of GO 111 has been done over years already," she said.