The move will open up the catchment area of Himayatsagar, Osmansagar for construction and industrial activity. However, the negative impact would be that both the reservoirs may dry up faster leaving Hyderabad thirsting over a period of time. Presently there are over 13,000 illegal buildings in the catchment area.
Hyderabad: As promised during the Assembly election campaign, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) -led government is gearing up to scrap the controversial GO:111.
The GO prohibits any construction or industrial activity with a 10-km radius of Himayatsagar and Osmansagar reservoirs which are near the city.
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao is awaiting the resolutions that will be given by sarpanches of 84 villages in the catchment area of both the tanks.
MP from Chevella Ranjith Reddy said, “The TRS government has asked the sarpanches of 84 villages to pass the resolutions in support of scrapping GO:111. Once we receive them, we will send the file of resolutions to the Chief Minister. After scrutinising this, the TRS government may withdraw the GO:111.”
It has been a long-pending demand by realtors, builders and industry to scrap the GO:111. However, environmentalists raise concerns that it will pollute the Himayatsagar and Osmansagar reservoirs.
“If the catchment area becomes full of construction activity, both the reservoirs may dry up very soon. The impact of scrapping GO:111 on Hyderabad will be harsh. Citizens will suffer from lack of drinking water,” said an environmental activist.
The GO:111 covers Chevella, Shamshabad, Moinabad, Kothuru, Shabad, Rajendra Nagar, Shankarpalli villages.
“The TRS government is assuring people of drinking water from the Godavari and Krishna rivers. How can the government control the pollution in Himayatsagar and Osmansagar due to industrial activity in the catchment areas?” added another environmentalist.
A section of sarpanches of the villages in the catchment areas said that they have already passed the resolution and have sent them to the state government.
Sarpanches’ Association, president Narotham Reddy says, “If there is any legal issue, then the state government should resolve it by revising the GO. The state government should lift restrictions on construction activity.”
Despite GO:111 in force, it is estimated that there are more than 13,000 illegal constructions that are in the catchment area.
Majority of the illegal buildings have come up in Moinabad, Chinnamangalaram, Aziznagar, Nagireddy guda, Chevella, Shamshabad villages. Challenging these illegal constructions, some environmentalists had filed a petition with National Green Tribunal (NGT).
The united AP government had issued GO:111 in 1996. A petition against this GO was filed in Supreme Court in 1999. The apex court disallowed any industrial activity within the catchment area.