HMDA master plan preparation hit by delay in fixing FTL

Lakes within HMDA limits increase by 300

Hyderabad: The Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) is to issue a preliminary notification to fix the full tank level (FTL) of about 3,200 lakes, including Osmansagar and Himayatsagar.

Officials from districts coming under HMDA jurisdiction found out during a survey they undertook that the number of lakes had increased from 3,200 to 3,500. This poses a major challenge in the preparation of the draft master plan after revocation of GO 111.

Although officials have been stating that the draft plan would be ready within 18 months after the expert committee submits a report on GO 111, it will prove to be a Herculean task to fix FTLs of lakes.

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

The preliminary notifications only mention maps, extent, survey numbers and coordinates. The final notification will include the complete area of the lake with revenue and irrigation department surveys, maps, area of the lake in each survey number and corresponding details. In all, 2,947 of the 3,132 lakes are under HMDA jurisdiction while the remaining 185 come under the purview of GHMC.

On the completion of a survey of 2,688 lakes, 1,838 have been preliminarily notified and 224 finally notified. Officials said that the survey of each lake would be taken up in consultation with the concerned irrigation and revenue officials. It is after 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 FTL boundaries and buffer zones in public domain.

A senior HMDA official, requesting anonymity, said that there are over 1,000 lakes in the purview of GO 111. He said that it would be difficult to prepare a master plan without fixing the FTLs and issuing the final notification of all the lakes. However, the official said, if the government wanted to prepare a master plan in less than a year, officials would flout norms by ignoring FTLs of the lakes.

Meanwhile, as per the latest information, HMDA will divide the city into three parts — areas within ORR, beyond ORR and outside five km radius to the proposed regional ring road. Assessments will be made with regard to drinking water, drainage, sewage, traffic, transport and power lines. On entrusting the job to ASCI, Rao said that instead of depending on a small body like HMDA for implementation of the master plan for the city’s comprehensive development, there will be a larger body consisting of experts drawn from various fields like sewerage, drinking water, power lines, traffic and environment.

Apparently, funds need to be mobilised not just from GHMC coffers but from various other sources.

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