GO 111, issued to protect Hyderabad’s twin reservoirs, now history

Finance minister T Harish Rao said that CM KCR has walked the talk by repealing the GO as promised.

Hyderabad: Telangana cabinet of ministers which met at the new Secretariat on Thursday under the leadership of chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, announced the repeal of GO No. 111, which was issued in 1996 to prevent excessive industrialisation and heavy construction activities in 84 villages, as well as pollution of Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar.

Finance minister T Harish Rao briefed the media on the meeting’s proceedings, saying that the rules and regulations in force for lands within the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits would apply to the 84 villages in the revenue mandals of Shamshabad, Rajendranagar, Moinabad, Chevella, and Shabad – all of which fall within the 10-km catchment area of Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar.

The Chief Minister stated in April of last year that the GO was no longer needed. “It was given to safeguard the Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar, which served the drinking water needs of the Greater Hyderabad region at the time. But since the state government had finally surmounted the drinking water scarcity that had impacted the capital district and had developed appropriate substitute water supplies, the GO is redundant,” he said.

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He had stated that the water supply was ample, with water being obtained without trouble through projects like the Sunkishala Intake Project and Mallanna Sagar, and that Hyderabad will not suffer water shortages for another 100 years.

Environmentalists and a few scientists have been speaking in opposition to the GO 111 scrapping idea since the chief minister first spoke of it.

To protect Hyderabad from flooding, dams were built on the Musi (also known as Moosa or Muchkunda) river, a significant tributary of the Krishna. The dams were proposed following a catastrophic flood in 1908 during the reign of the sixth Nizam Mahbub Ali Khan (1869-1911), which killed over 15,000 people.

During the reign of the last nizam, Osman Ali Khan (1911-48), the lakes were created. The construction of Himayat Sagar was complete in 1927, and Osman Sagar in 1921. The Nizam’s guesthouse in Osman Sagar has been designated as a historic structure.

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