Hyderabad lakes dying a slow death; LPC failed to do a job

In the absence of effective functioning of the lake protection committee (LPC), the inevitable is bound to happen

Hyderabad: Lakes in the GHMC limits are dying a slow death. In the absence of effective functioning of the Lake Protection Committee (LPC), the inevitable is bound to happen.

A member of the first LPC said: “The purpose of having a committee was to ensure that all the stakeholders meet and resolve issues pertaining to lakes, which are basically about encroachments. The stakeholders included senior civil service officers, but they seldom attended a meeting and instead sent their subordinates or juniors to simply write down the minutes of the meeting.”

It was in 2010 that the Andhra Pradesh High Court established the lake protection committee. Its job was to ensure that reports were periodically submitted to the government for action. Yet, till June 2018, not a single report was submitted. Apart from this, while it had resolved to meet every month, it met only 16 times since its formation.

Significantly, the view expressed by the former LPC member was echoed by the recent report of the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report presented in the assembly recently. The report said, “The erstwhile state of unified Andhra Pradesh evolved a state water policy in February 2009 for effective participation of users by way of mandatory development and management of water resources with involvement of primary stakeholders.”

Any evidence about its adoption by Telangana state subsequent to its formation in June 2014 was, however, not furnished by the government. While lake protection suffered due to lack of coordination between multiple agencies, there was no effort by the LPC or the state government to include an important stakeholder in the activity – i.e., the citizen.

As for urban lakes, such stakeholders would-be fishermen and residents of areas around the lake. Evidence of user groups being involved in the conservation of lakes by HMDA/GHMC was not found.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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