Telangana: Scientists write to chief secretary, raise concerns over GO 69

Hyderabad: Three scientists-cum-environmentalists requested Telangana’s chief secretary K Somesh Kumar to bring back the provisions and protections granted by the now revoked government order 111 (GO 111).

In a letter addressed to the chief secretary, the signatories, Dr Narasimha Reddy Donthi, BV Subba Rao and Prof K Purushotham Reddy said that the new GO 69 lifted all the restrictions ensured by the previous order.

What did GO 111 safeguard?

The GO 111 order barred the construction of industries, residential colonies, hotels, and other structures within a 10-kilometer radius of the Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar lakes’ catchment areas. This significant 25-year-old order was replaced by a newly passed GO 69.

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Why are scientists and environmentalists concerned?

The letter stated that the GO 69 was released to unknown sources without referring to any expert committee report (ECR).

The scientists further pointed out multiple potential loopholes in GO 69. They said that there is an ambiguity in the terms of reference. They also said that there is no report made yet nor a deadline mentioned to submit it.

“This ambiguity could lead to physical changes in the catchment area of the lakes.” stated the letter.

Furthermore, the letter stated that the lack of provisions and protection of lakes can lead real estate developers to develop layouts and undertake construction. This could set off adverse chain reactions to various micro eco-systems in and around such areas.

Meanwhile, Telangana’s chief minister stated “there could be anarchy if the GO, which affected 83 villages and 1.32 lakh acres, was lifted at once. Therefore, the MAUD minister and officials had been asked to address the issue in a phased manner after preparing master plans and green zones.”

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