GO 111Date: 25 April 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous
Environmentalists are criticizing the Telangana government for withdrawing ‘Government Order (GO) 111’ that protected historic lakes.
The GO 111 was issued 25 years back by the then Andhra Pradesh government for the protection of Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar reservoirs in Hyderabad.
The GO 111 had prohibited development or construction works in the catchment area of the Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar lakes for 10 km radius.
The aim was to protect the catchment area, and to keep the reservoirs pollution-free. The lakes were the main source of drinking water for the city at the time.
The order restricted setting up of industries, residential colonies, hotels, etc which cause pollution.
Construction of lakes
The lakes were formed by constructing dam on the Musi river (Muchkunda), which is a tributary of Krishna river.
The dams were constructed after Hyderabad witnessed a major flood during the reign of sixth nizam Mahbub Ali Khan (1869-1911) in 1908.
The Osman Sagar was completed in 1921, and Himayat Sagar in 1927. They acted as lifeline of the city till recent times.
Reasons for withdrawal
The city of Hyderabad is not dependent any more on the reservoirs for drinking water needs. The restrictions on construction activities were hampering development.
The government will however take measures to ensure that water flowing into the reservoirs is not polluted.
Rule and regulations for construction activities around the lakes will be framed. Sewage treatment plants will be set up.
Large green zones will be set up, which will be free from any activities. A committee will look into ways to create development without damaging the lakes.
Activists and environmentalists say that the government action will spell doom for the two lakes.
There is an accusation that powerful real estate lobby is putting pressure on the government to remove restrictions imposed.