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Implementing misleading govt order to pollute Hyderabad's 100 year old reservoirs

Senior activists* represent to the Telangana Governor on GO Ms 69 dated 12.4.2022 issued by the Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD), Government of Telangana: ‘...restrictions imposed under para 3 of said GO Ms 111 dated 8.3.1996 are removed...’:

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Ref: GO Ms 111 dated 8.3.1996: ‘To prohibit polluting industries, major hotels, residential colonies or other establishments that generate pollution in the catchment of the lakes upto 10kms from full tank level as per list in Annexure-I...’
We come to your office with grievance that GO Ms 69 dated 12.4.2022 issued by Government of Telangana not only contains false information issued ‘By Order and in the name of the Governor of Telangana’ , without any scientific or expert reports, but also that implementation of the said GO is detrimental and can be catastrophic to the Hyderabad city as two 100 year old reservoirs Osman Sagar and Himayath Sagar were constructed as dams on river Moosa and river Esa, with the first and foremost purpose of preventing 1908 type of floods in Hyderabad city.
Submissions below:
1- We submit that GO Ms 69 dated 12.4.2022 states that the restrictions imposed under para 3 of said GO Ms 111 dated 8.3.1996 are removed.
Below is extract from Para 3 of GO Ms 111:
Para 3 of GO Ms 111 dated 8.3.1996 prohibits ‘polluting industries, major hotels, residential colonies or other establishments that generate pollution, in the catchment of the lakes upto 10kms from full tank level of the lakes as per list in Annexure-I.....’
2- We further submit that, GO Ms 111 dated 8.3.1996 was issued based upon two reports and recommendations of ‘a Committee of experts in Industrial, Agricultural and habitation activities to suggest ways and means to monitor the quantity of water in these reservoirs’ and ‘after detailed discussions and a field visit to Osman sagar pipe lines’. Committee constituted by Hyderabad Metropolitan Water and Sewerage Board.
Whereas, the GO 69 dated 12.4.2022 does not mention a single expert committee report or study report.
3- We further submit that, Supreme Court after relying on three ‘expert scientific and technological reports of high order’, ordered that, no polluting industry shall be permitted in the 10 kms buffer zone of the twin-resevoirs thus had upheld GO Ms 111 dated 8.3.1996.
In its orders dated 27.1.1999 and 22.12.2000, in CASE NO.: Appeal (civil) 368-371 of 1999 Appeal (civil) 372 of 1999 Appeal (civil) 373 of 1999 , emphasized on the two critical environmental principles viz., Precautionary Principles and Burden of Proof .
SC reiterated Article 21 Right to Life concerns and discussed threadbare the three Expert Reports submitted by expert committees:
i)- Report of Dr Bhowmick dated 16/8/2000
ii)- Report of NGRI of June 2000
iii)- Report of National Environmental Appellate Authority, New Delhi (NEAA)
‘In our view, the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986 and the Water Act, 1974 and the Air Act, 1981 have enough provision proposed applicable not only to new industries to be established but also to existing industries.
'The State of Andhra Pradesh is therefore directed hereby to identify these industries located within 10K.M. radius of these two lakes and to take action in consultation with the A.P.Pollution Control Board to prevent pollution to the drinking water in these two reservoirs.
'The State and the Board shall not permit any polluting industries within the 10 k.m radius.
‘Before parting with the case, we acknowledge the excellent Reports submitted to this Court by the three expert bodies on the basis of scientific/technological research of a very high order.
The amount of hard work done by these three bodies is commendable. But for these expert reports it would have been very difficult for this Court to resolve the complicated scientific issues involved in this case, with confidence.’
4- We submit that, GO Ms 111 dated 8.3.1996 has the backing of five expert scientific technological reports and Supreme Court Orders, while GO Ms 69 has not cited till date a single expert report to ‘remove restrictions imposed by GO Ms 111 dated 8.3.1996’.
Our RTI applications for reports if any by Government of Telangana are not answered till date nor placed in public domain.
5- We submit that, GO Ms 69 dated 12.4.2022 contains false information issued by Government of Telangana ‘By Order and in the name of the Governor of Telangana’.
Below is extract from GO Ms 69 dated 12.4.2022 :
‘Since the total installed capacity of drinking water for Hyderabad has grown up from 145MGD to 602 MGD and additional 344 MGD is also under execution, as result drawals dependability of these reservoirs is less than 1.25% and they are no longer the source of drinking water supply to Hyderabad City.
'Considering the above fact that Hyderabad city’s drinking water requirements are no longer dependent on Osman Sagar and Himayatsagar Reservoirs which was the underlying theme for issuance of GO111 dated 8.3.1996, Government after careful examination of the matter have decided that the restrictions imposed under para 3 of said GO Ms 111 dated 8.3.1996 are removed....’
Contrary to the false information given in the GO above, facts are as follows:
1- Even as on 19 aug 2022, the water drawals from Osman Sagar is 56.000MGD and water drawals from Himayath Sagar is 29.0000 MGD by gravity.
[source: https://www.hyderabadwater.gov.in/en/index.php/more/water-levels-reservoirs]
2- Even on the date of issue of the GO 69 i.e., 12.4.2022 stating that ‘they are no longer the source of drinking water supply to Hyderabad city’ the water drawals from the two reservoirs are 73.000MGD from Osman Sagar and 24.000MGD from Himayath Sagar by gravity.
[source: https://www.hyderabadwater.gov.in/en/index.php/more/water-levels-reservoirs]
3- Further, upto the time of 12.4.2022 the day GO 69 was issued the reservoirs contributed 1352 million gallons , by gravity, for the 102 years of this year. This accounts to 5% and more.
[source: https://www.hyderabadwater.gov.in/en/index.php/more/water-levels-reservoirs]
4- Further below is the year on year table indicating quantity and percentage of drawals:
5- Thus, false information has been issued by Government of Telangana, vide GO Ms 69 dated 12.4.2022 issued ‘By Order and in the name of the Governor of Telangana’.
6- We also submit that 29 Kaleshwaram pumps at Annaram and Medigadda were submerged in July 2022 after heavy rains near Badrachalam. And it is on such uncertain distant energy-based piped waters that the Government of Telangana wants the Hyderabad city to be dependent on, by falsely declaring the existing functioning water supply from the twin reservoirs as ‘no longer the sources of drinking water supply to Hyderabad city’.
We urge your good offices to redress our grievance with intervention and pray for repeal of GO Ms 69 dated 12.4.2022 issued with false information and issued ‘By Order and in the name of the Governor of Telangana’ , without any scientific or expert reports, but also that implementation of the said GO is detrimental and can be catastrophic to the Hyderabad city as two 100 year old reservoirs Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar were constructed as dams on river Moosa and river Esa, with the first and foremost purpose of preventing 1908 type of floods in Hyderabad city.
Any further information that your good offices requires that we may have we shall coordinate as our duty and responsibility towards our country in public interest.
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*Dr Lubna Sarwath, Environmental and Social Worker, State President for WICCI Water Resources Council, Hyderabad
Smt Revati Thangavelu, Honorary Secretary, Dewan Bahadur Educational Institutes; former professor at Department of English, Osmania University, Hyderabad
Dr Jasveen Jairath, founder member, Save Our Urban Lakes
Shri Omim Debara, Petitioner in High Court to save GO111
Smt Kalavathy, petitioner to save Babaguda lake, Shameerpet
Shri Madhusudhan Raj P, Joint Secretary, High Court welfare association, Nacharam
Shri Vijay Bhaskar, Ekta Foundation

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