Sheer Neglect: Himayatsagar not a water body, so no development

Report fixing lake’s FTL was submitted 2 years ago, but HMDA is yet to give a preliminary report

Hyderabad: Believe it or not! The more than 100-year-old Himayatsagar, which was constructed as the city's main source of drinking water during the rule of the last Nizam of Hyderabad, is not a notified water body.

Since Himayatsagar, a smaller man-made lake that runs parallel to the larger and historic Nizam-era Osmansagar, has not been recognised as a notified water body, it has received less attention and has not undergone significant development comparable to Gandipet.

The report fixing the full tank level of Himayatsagar was submitted by the revenue and irrigation authorities two years ago, but the HMDA is yet to even give a preliminary report notifying it as a water body.

In an effort to develop eco-friendly tourism attractions, the state government had allocated Rs 35.60 crore for a the landscape park encompassing 18 acres on the banks of Osmansagar.

The Gandipet Park, which was inaugurated in October of last year, is one of the major attractions in the area and has been drawing visitors from all over the city, especially on weekends. It features an entrance pavilion, walkways, flower terrace, picnic areas, open-air theatres, food courts, restrooms, among others. It also has a central pavilion with a ticketing counter and guard rooms on either side of four-way columns.

Himayatsagar, on the other hand, was unable to experience development. Authorities contend that the government has suggested an eco park on 125 acres near Himayatsagar at an estimated cost of Rs 75 crore.

The eco park, unlike at Osmansagar, is reportedly 18 kilometres from the water body, hence it won’t be included in the lake’s development and beautifying programme. According to them, the development activity could be taken up only after the water body gets recognition as a notified water body.

Sources said the preliminary notifications simply mention maps, extent, survey numbers, and coordinates, and the final notification will include the entire area of the lake with revenue and irrigation department surveys, maps, area of the lake in each survey number, and corresponding details.

After a survey of 2,688 lakes was complete, 1,838 lakes received preliminary notifications, and 224 lakes received final notifications. The survey of each lake, according to officials, would be conducted after consultations with the irrigation and revenue officials.

Sources said it is only after the certification of lake FTL maps by the irrigation department and superimposition of revenue survey numbers that the preliminary notification would be issued by HMDA duly placing FTL maps with boundaries and buffer zones in public domain.

It should be noted that although the exercise began 10 years back in 2013, HMDA could release final notification of just 224 lakes. It should be noted that even though the exercise began in 2013, the HMDA could only announce the final notification of 224 lakes.

Water Facts

Not being notified as a water body by the HMDA, Himayatsagar lacks funds for development

Government proposes to build eco park for the lake, but it 18 km away

Himayatsagar is the smaller of the two reservoirs with a capacity of 2.9 tmc ft and a surface area of about 20 sq km.

Osmansagar holds 3.9 tmc ft water, and spreads over 24 sq km

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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