'Save Osman Sagar, Himayat Sagar': Environmentalists write to TS CS; ask to revoke GO 69

The environmentalists further urged to withdraw GO 69 and that GO 111 should be retained until the committee formulates a report and sets guidelines and regulatory measures for the protection of lakes and the catchment area.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  27 April 2022 5:44 AM GMT
Save Osman Sagar, Himayat Sagar: Environmentalists write to TS CS; ask to revoke GO 69

Hyderabad: Top environmentalists have written to Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar urging him to roll back GO 69 and restore GO 111 in a bid to protect Himayat Sagar and Osman Sagar.

Dr. Narasimha Reddy Donthi, B V. Subba Rao, and Prof. K. Purushotham Reddy wrote an open letter to the Chief Secretary underscoring the need for restoring GO 111.

"Going by the contents of this GO MS No.69 dated 12 April 2022, it is assumed that GO MS No.111, dated 18 March 1996, is scrapped and restrictions on constructions in the 10km radius of reservoirs of Himayath Sagar and Osman Sagar have been removed, effectively making this approximately 314 Sq.Km, area a free zone. A committee has been constituted to develop protection measures. This GO 69 does not clarify the status of constructions and approvals in the interim period, between 12 April 2022 and the date on which the regulatory measures suggested by the Committee are notified by the government," said the letter.

The letter also criticized the government for ignoring the ecological services provided by the two lakes-Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar. The government should have instead celebrated 100 years of these two lakes. Citing the 2020 and 2021 floods in Hyderabad, the letter highlighted the important role played by the twin reservoirs as the first line of defence against floods.

The environmentalists further urged to withdraw GO 69 and that GO 111 should be retained until the committee formulates a report and sets guidelines and regulatory measures for the protection of lakes and the catchment area.

GO 69

On April 12, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced that GO 111 would be repealed and that the two lakes have become redundant. This drew flak from the environmentalists. A fortnight later, the government issued GO 69 lifting the restrictions imposed under para 3 of GO 111. This made the 10 km radius comprising 84 villages around the two lakes a free zone, open to construction activities.

GO 69 further called for constituting a committee of IAS officers headed by the chief secretary to formulate regulations. The committee was asked to submit a report at the earliest.

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