Prof. Kodandaram founder Telangana Jana Samithi (right) and scientist Sagar Dhara Former UNEP consultant (left) looks at the present situation of Osman Sagar encroachments on Google Earth print out shown in the Discussions and Resolutions demanding to remove encroachments inside Himayat Sagar and Osman Sagar and all illegal structures in prohibited zone and strict implementation of GO111, way forward. (DC Photo)
Hyderabad: Experts, scientists and leaders from political parties were unanimous in their criticism of the state government’s decision to repeal GO 111 during a panel discussion here on Sunday. They warned of serious environmental consequences, including floods in Hyderabad, if the government goes ahead with its proposal.
Speaking on the occasion, former consultant of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Sagar Dhara said that floods had occurred in many parts of the country in the past few years. He pointed out that floods in Hyderabad could result in unprecedented havoc as a scientifically-driven disaster management plan was not in place. "The state government has itself said that the purpose of the two reservoirs (Osmansagar and Himayatsagar) was to control floods," he said.
Congress leader M. Kodanda Reddy, All India Kisan Congress vice-president, criticized the way the CM had "bulldozed" the decision on repeal of the GO in the Assembly, without giving prior notice or any time for debate or discussion. He said he was worried about the effect the GO’s repeal would have on farmers.
Prof. M. Kodandaram, president of the Telangana Jana Samiti, said the government was only telling the people that the reservoirs were for drinking water, and was hiding the fact that they also served the function of flood control.
State president of Samajwadi Party, Prof. S. Simhadri, said that the government’s decisions had neither a policy nor planning.
"The government does not believe in master plans and instead goes by ad-hoc plans. The TRS is only focusing on grabbing land. I do not know how the Chief Minister has got this bizarre idea to repeal GO 111. If he wants land, then he should understand that it is aplenty in the eastern part of the city," he said.
Telangana Prajala Party’s state president Muralidhar Gupta took potshots at BJP legislator M. Raghunandan Rao, who had said that the GO would be revoked when the BJP comes to power.
"This shows that both TRS and BJP are keen on making money and are not working for the public good," he said.
CPM state secretariat member D.G. Narasimha Rao said the CPM had strongly opposed the decision to repeal the GO in the Assembly.
"Farmers with small amounts of land in the reservoirs’ catchment areas may have some issues but they should be addressed separately, without removing the GO," he said.
Prof. Ramdass, a geophysicist from Osmania University, and former IICT chief scientist Dr K. Baburao also spoke at the event.