The killing of GO111: Is there a solution to control Musi Floods in Hyderabad?

The Mohd Quli Qutub Shaw founded Hyderabad, known as the city of lakes and gardens, on the banks of Musi River in 1591. These maintain an excellent environment in and around Hyderabad. After the disastrous floods in Hyderabad City on September 27-28, 1908 that caused the deaths of more than 1000 people and the destruction of property worth crores.

By Dr S Jeevananda Reddy  Published on  13 April 2022 9:13 AM GMT
The killing of GO111: Is there a solution to control Musi Floods in Hyderabad?

Telangana Chief Minister, K. Chandrashekar Rao on April 12, 2022, pronounced many things. One of them was killing GO111 by saying it is redundant in the present circumstances. What are the present circumstances that made them redundant? Is it to mint thousands of crores through bribes? In reality day by day, floods became a common scene in Hyderabad with reduction in the water holding capacity of water bodies, now standing at 25% capacity, and the same is the case with Musi River. Added to this is increasing levels of sewage that add to rainfall – in-situ source --, from 275 mld in 1960 has gone up to around 3500 mld – this is ex-situ sources --. That means KCR will be happy if every year Hyderabad submerges in filthy floodwaters. This creates health hazards and loss of wealth running into lakhs of crores. KCR has a separate state on false claims and destroying the state putting a huge burden on people and minting thousands of crores through real estate ventures as he needs that money to reach the PM seat. The government wanted to kill the two lakes and bring water from faraway places through lift irrigation by depriving local peoples' needs. This creates ex-situ wastewater that adds to flood-prone ness in Hyderabad.

The Mohd Quli Qutub Shaw founded Hyderabad, known as the city of lakes and gardens, on the banks of Musi River in 1591. These maintain an excellent environment in and around Hyderabad. After the disastrous floods in Hyderabad City on September 27-28, 1908 that caused the deaths of more than 1000 people and the destruction of property worth crores. On the advice of the legendry Engineer, Sir Mokshagundam Visveswarayya, constructed Osmansagar, known as Gandipet, (1913-1918) on the river Musi and Himayatsagar (1920-1927) on Easi, a tributary to Musi River, to contain floods and to provide drinking water to twin cities, spread over 10,000 acres. Since 1930 this water is used for drinking

All these actions created a healthy atmosphere in and around Hyderabad; controlled floods; provided drinking water through gravity. With the entry of greedy politicians started the destruction of these resources with the support of corrupt bureaucrats and corrupt judiciary – with few exceptions. Slowly they are used as addas for anti-social activities that include the spread of drug culture and now reached to peak in Hyderabad The healthy atmosphere has been turned into an unhealthy/filthy atmosphere.

However, there were a few good "Samaritans" who noticed a reduction in water flow and contamination of water with the growth of population and associated construction activities to meet their need as well as the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture with the green revolution technology in the catchment areas of the two reservoirs. Though the Water Act of 1974 & Air Act of 1981 and Environment Act of 1986 are there, to protect the reservoirs, the state government felt these are not adequate and to have preventive measures, felt the need to apply the "precautionary principle" and took special steps and issued GO 50 dated 18th January 1989 prohibiting the interception of any inflows of water into the lakes, tapping of groundwater in these catchment areas, construction of buildings, check dams, lift irrigation works, storage reservoirs, etc. across vagus flowing in the catchment areas of these two reservoirs. These are not new, but were part of Nawab's Furmanah. Subsequently, the government noticed new problems affecting the quality of water in the two reservoirs. Metro Water Board appointed a technical committee to look into this issue and suggest ways and means of controlling these so that water of the two reservoirs can be protected from contamination. Based on the 1st report of the committee the government issued GO 192 dated 31st March 1994. Subsequently after receiving the 2nd report the GO 192 & GO 50 were combined and revised as GO 111 dated 8th March 1996 was issued – in this GO 50 was specifically included.

The GO 111 states that: (1) Water pollution: to prohibit polluting industries, major hotels, residential colonies, or other establishments that generate pollution in the catchment of the two reservoirs up to a 10 km radius from the FTL (Full tank level) of the reservoirs – 84 villages were listed that fall under 10 km catchment area; (2) Air pollution: To prohibit polluting industries within 10 km radius (both upstream & downstream of the reservoirs), to prevent acidification of the lakes due to air pollution. There shall be a total prohibition of the location of industries in the prohibited zone; (3) Agriculture: In the Master Plan the land use of about 90% of the area in the catchment of the two reservoirs up to a 10 km radius from the FTL is classified as recreational and conservation use. HUDA should take action to the classification of this 90% of the area as agriculture, which is inclusive of horticulture and floriculture; (4) Residential: By maintaining 90% of the catchment area under agriculture, in the said 84 villages residential buildings could be built with FSI of 1: 0.5 with the layouts having 40% area under buildings and the rest covering roads and greenery and (5) Water quantity & quality entering the reservoirs: These are supported by GO 50. That means GO 111 is issued to protect the quality and quantity of water flowing into the reservoirs as well as direct acidification of reservoir waters by air pollution. Also prohibits the extraction & contamination of groundwater within a 10 km radius.

One exemption is given to the polluting industry, Supreme Court of India in 2000 upheld GO111 and introduced the precautionary principle. -- But in violation of Supreme Court order again the same government committed a violation in terms of Shamshabad Air Port & ORR-I and minted lakhs of crores through inside trading and real estate ventures [In fact I submitted these to CBI]. With the court directive, all those polluting or pollution potential industries were closed from the GO111 zone. With the CDFD, another rule was introduced to protect the lakes, namely: STPs should not be a solution but they should not be part of the GO111 zone. Without the efforts of environmental groups, highly polluting industries would have made the people's lives in the GO111 zone miserable with polluted groundwater, polluted air, and soil like in Patancheru. Noor Mohammed Kunta presents a live example. With these industries, nobody would have ventured into the real estate in this zone.

We file a PIL [[W.P.No. 9386/2007] on 26th April 2007. This government-issued a Memo No. 14046/I1/07 dated 12-10-2007 and circulated in media widely. This memo instructs all the concerned authorities who are associated with regulating the construction and development activity within the catchment area of the two lakes not to allow any construction, layout, and non-agriculture development activity within the upstream area of lakes in tune with GO 111. They also said that now the entire catchment of the two lakes falls within the jurisdiction of HMDA. The memo state that HMDA, the collectors RRdistrict & Mahbubnagar district shall ensure that no construction or development comes in violation of the GO111. They shall keep a strict vigil and take stringent action against the violators as per the law. It also directs the two collectors to issue directions to all Gram Panchayats falling within the catchment area of the two lakes not to issue any layout or building permission in violation of the provisions of GO 111. Regarding the case, on 3rd November 2007, RR district Collector's office submitted a list of structures/layouts that have come up in the villages of the 6 Mandals within a 10 km catchment area [Lr. No.D1/5574/2007]. The list says 34 Institutions, 261 layouts, and 2465 houses. The Memo specifically mentioned "not other than agriculture", and violations in the GO111 area were excluded from the regularization scheme of the TRS Government. It is proposed to establish a separate lake protection authority for regulating and monitoring the developments to protect the water bodies. However, the government has not taken any steps in that direction. Petitioner was asked to submit an "Action Plan": At the last hearing on this case was held on 4th November 2011 [Friday] wherein the court directed the petitioner to file an action plan and the hearing was posted to Wednesday [9th November 2011]. However, this was not posted to date. However, the government has been now and then submitting to High Court and NGT the lists of violations – with no action.

Report of EPTRI – GO 952: A committee was constituted, under GO 952 dated 29.11.2005, for suggesting necessary amendments to GO 111 regarding activities to be permitted in the downstream areas. This was closed with my letter to CM.

TS Plan of Action

The plan to Kill GO111 by KCR is not new. This was planned as back as 2015. TS Government under the disguise of Mission Kakatiya, Cyberabad Police Commissioner was trapped to kill GO111. Cyberabad Police Commissioner organized a stakeholders' meet after my letter dated 28th August 2015 to CP and my meeting with CP on 31st August 2015. At this meeting I explained the whole issue of GO111 and the negative impacts on water bodies by their proposal – it will turn into an adda for anti-social activities that help Resorts under the disguise of lakes protection & development*. *By building fencing and developing recreational facilities like walking/jogging/cycling tracks, etc. creates "adda for anti-social activities" and stops the free flow of rainwater into the lakes. This will be a boon to the commercial activities developed illegally against the GO111. It separates the GO111 area from FTL to a 10 km radius. That means 10 km will become "zero km". The whole drama is enacted under the Mission Kakatiya. In that meeting, they asked me what my final opinion is. I told them, that if the fencing is laid along the 10-km ring, it is o.k. with me. Immediately, the Police department said, we will be withdrawing from the project.

In daylight, some leaders close to the seat of power [present government] entered Osmansagar Lake and tried to do Pooja for the revolving Hotel at the center of the lake. All their vehicles were trapped in mud and no government official prosecuted them. So well planned game by the TRS group. Pragati Resort is the major violator of GO111 & Supreme Court order, yet CM KCR had a meeting in Pragati Resort and built a Hotel later. Violators have no permission to establish such activities.

Does the government have the data wherein what is the share of farmers in 1,34,600 acres of GO111 zone? How much area is under dry-land agriculture in TS to date? They don't need irrigation – in fact, in his press meeting, KCR made all false statements about water sources. Can there be a cheap drinking water supply over the two lakes? Can he stop flood fury in Musi River in the coming years with the killing of GO111?

Tailpiece: KCR's actions look like dictators. He does not care for people or the environment. What he says is final. His ambitions to become Prime Minister of India he will go to any extent as this needs lakhs of crores. Money makes many things. We have seen recent drug east in Hyderabad city. KCR was silent. Why?

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not represent the views of NewsMeter. We have not changed, added, or omitted anything to the text. NewsMeter is not responsible for the accuracy of the facts and the content of external links included in the article.

Next Story
Share it