Hyderabad: The city’s oldest and cheapest drinking water sources, Osmansagar and Himayatsagar lakes may be threatened if the state government relaxes Government Order 111, prohibiting development within a 10 km radius of Himayatsagar and Osmansagar lakes.
At present, the Board spends Rs 35 to Rs 40 to draw one litre of water from the Krishna and Godavari schemes and just Rs 2 when drawing water from Osmansagar and Himayatsagar. If the government order is not implemented in the 84 villages surrounding the twin reservoirs, encroachments and pollution will destroy these two traditional tanks built over 100 years ago. This is what happened with Hussainsagar, once a source of drinking water.
According to GO 111 issued on March 8, 1996, major industries, hotels and residential structures cannot be constructed in the 84 listed villages that fall in six mandals surrounding the lakes — Shamshabad, Moinabad, Shabad, Shankarpally, Rajendranagar and Chevella.
A senior officer of the Water Board said, “The catchment areas of Osmansagar and Himayatsagar are expected to come under increased threat from construction activity with the state government considering relaxing the norms of government order 111. The twin reservoirs might reduce in size and get polluted, and the board might lose two important resources.”
He said Krishna and Godavari water would remain the only sources of drinking water and the cost of drawing water from hundreds of kilometres away would increase. “Part of the additional expense will be extracted through water bills,” the officer said....