Hyderabad authority is contemplating the withdrawal of GO-111 provision that barred construction activity in and around Osmansagar and Himayatnagar lakes. The move is likely to expand realty construction across 84 villages that fall in the catchment area of the two lakes under a bio-conservation zone.
Telangana government plans to lift ban on construction activities in and around Osmansagar and Himayatnagar lakes in a bid to promote real estate and recreation development in the region that comprises 84 villages. The contemplation is in the wake of regular pressure that the authority has been receiving from realtors and public representatives of these villages where development activities have long been ignored. These villages include six mandals including Shamshabad, Shabad, Rajendranagar, Chevalla, Moinabad and Shankarapalli which hold huge real estate potential owing to their proximity to IT corridors.
One of the major reasons for the expansion prohibition are the twin lakes that were earlier the prime source of drinking water in the city. In an attempt to preserve the water quality, the area up to 10 km of the lakes was demarcated as a bio-conservation zone and GO-111 was imposed. The provision was passed in March 1996 that strictly barred construction of industries, major hotels, residential colonies and any other development that contributes to pollution in the catchment of lakes.
However, presently, the legality and validity of GO 111 has been challenged as living conditions of locals has become miserable due to the ban on development activities within a 10 km radius of the two lakes. According, Arun Jaju, Proprietor, Prime Properties, “The city’s present drinking water requirements are largely met by Godavari and Krishna rivers, therefore, development around these two lakes can be encouraged for the larger interest of the general public. Once the ban is lifted or norms are eased, it will open floodgates for real estate development. Also, as the property rates around the lakes grows at a faster pace, prices of the properties developed in these areas around are also expected to increase significantly.”
While a ban lift would increase commercial engagements, transform the residential projects in the nearby villages, chances are that it would threaten the ecological balance through encroachments and pollution, share environment experts. Therefore, government has asked NGT to form a committee of three members to study GO-111 and feasibility of its cancellation.
Besides, if the order is passed in favour of the petitioners, Krishna and Godavari river will be the only source of drinking water and the cost of drawing water from hundreds of kilometers would increase which might pass on to the citizens in the form of water bills. Currently, water board spends Rs 35-40 to draw one litre water from Krishna and Godavari, while the rate of drawing water from Osmanagar and Himayatsagar lakes will be only Rs 2 per litre.
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