Illegal constructions in five colonies were located near the Munair river. (AP Photo/Representational)
KHAMMAM: Illegal constructions in five colonies located near the Munair river are posing a major environmental threat to areas within the Khammam Municipal Corporation, activists have noted.
Town-planning officials are not thwarting such illegal constructions and rather allowing the sprouting of hundreds of structures in Venkateswaranagar, Moti Nagar, Bokkalagadda, Prakashnagar and the Pumping Well Road on the banks of Munair.
"No permission should be given for buildings in the buffer zone area of the river’s catchment area. No construction activity should be allowed for a 100- meters distance from the river banks," said environment activists led by C Chander here on Thursday.
He said there were 337 illegal constructions in the five colonies; and they came under the Munair river buffer zone. "Regulations should also be implemented in relation to other water sources like ponds and tanks."
Munair, a tributary to River Krishna, flows 50km through Khammam district. The river caters to the drinking water needs of Khammam town for the last seven decades. "The government built a reservoir across River Munair at Davajigudem and pumped the water to the drinking water schemes.
The town-planning department has a deputy city planner, assistant city planner, town planning supervisor, five building inspectors and four chain-men. They are not making any effort to check illegal constructions in the river bank area."
He pointed out that all these areas are inundated during floods in the river every year. Land-grabbers encroached the lands in the river’s buffer zone by using private land survey numbers. Revenue inspectors are giving house numbers to these illegal constructions by creating false property tax identification numbers, he said.
Environment activist N Rameswar said, "Illegal constructions were found 30 metres close to the river in these five colonies. These colonies used to submerge every year. Officials should evict these houses by considering the environmental threat. The rivers in Telangana are being ruined by the illegal removal of sand and illegal constructions are another problem".
Land grabbers are selling lands to the gullible by assuring them that these lands belonged to private persons. Higher officials should conduct a special drive to identify and demolish the illegal constructions in the Munair river buffer zone, activists stressed.