Environmentalists aghast after Telangana withdraws GO 111 protecting Osman Sagar, Himayat Sagar

Government order (GO) 111 was issued on March 8, 1996. The government said the scarping of the order would not impact the water quality of Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar. However, this exposes the 10-km radius comprising 84 villages around Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar open to all kinds of construction.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  21 April 2022 4:08 AM GMT
Environmentalists aghast after Telangana withdraws GO 111 protecting Osman Sagar, Himayat Sagar

Hyderabad: Overriding protests by green activists, the Telangana government has withdrawn the 1996 government order that ensured the protection of Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar catchment areas.

Government order (GO) 111 was issued on March 8, 1996. The government said the scarping of the order would not impact the water quality of Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar. However, this exposes the 10-km radius comprising 84 villages around Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar open to all kinds of construction.

The government also announced the formation of a committee headed by Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, which has been given nine terms of reference to frame detailed guidelines and submit a report at the earliest.

"Considering the fact that Hyderabad city's drinking water requirements were no longer dependent on Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar reservoirs, which was the underlying reason for the issuance of GO 111, it was no longer relevant," reads the order.

The TRS-led government had earlier on April 12 issued another GO number 69 which would replace GO 111. According to GO 69, the restrictions imposed under para 3 of GO 111 (passed on March 8, 1996) now stand removed.

Essentially, the restrictions under GO 111 ensured that the catchment areas of both the Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar are protected. However, in recent years, there has been pressure from localities in rural areas outside Hyderabad (which are close to the catchment areas) to undo it to undertake construction work in those areas.

According to GO 69, Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar lakes accounted for about 27.59% of the installed capacity of the drinking water when the GO was issued in 1996. Now, the requirement of Hyderabad has increased from 145 million gallons per day (MGD) to 602 MGD, of which both the lakes only supply 1.25% of the drinking water.

The government said that the GO 111, dated March 8, 1996, was issued to prohibit polluting industries, major hotels, residential colonies, and other establishments that generate pollution in the catchment area of Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar reservoirs, up to 10 km from the full rank level (FTL), covering 84 villages with an area of nearly 1.32 lakh acres.

This was done to protect the catchment area of these two reservoirs which were the main source of drinking water for Hyderabad city at that time. However, as per the details furnished by the HMWSSB, these two reservoirs are now accounting for 27.59 percent of the installed capacity of drinking water, when the GO 111 was issued.

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