Explained: What is GO 111, the order to protect Hyderabad’s Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar, that has now been lifted

What is the News?

Environmentalists and activists are criticizing the Telangana government for withdrawing a Government Order(GO) 111 protecting the historic Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar reservoirs in Hyderabad, which they say will destroy the fragile surrounding ecosystem.

What is GO 111?

In 1996, the Government of erstwhile (undivided) Andhra Pradesh issued GO 111 prohibiting development or construction works in the catchment area of the Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar lakes up to a radius of 10 km.

The GO prohibited the setting up of industries, residential colonies, and hotels among others which cause pollution.

The aim of the restrictions was to protect the catchment area and to keep reservoirs pollution-free. The lakes had been supplying water to Hyderabad for nearly 70 years and were the main source of drinking water for the city at the time.

When were Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar built?

Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar were built in 1920 and 1927, respectively, under the last Nizam-era ruler Mir Osman Ali Khan, after the devastating 1908 floods in Hyderabad.

The reservoirs were created by building dams on the River Musi (Musi is also known as Moosa or Muchkunda and is a major tributary of the Krishna River).

Why has the Government withdrawn GO 111?

Hyderabad city no longer depends on these two reservoirs for water supply, and there was no need to continue with the restrictions on development in the catchment radius.

Why has this move been criticized?

Environmentalists have said that these reservoirs are still an important water source for the city.

The Murugavani National Park between the twin reservoirs and the entire area acts as a heat absorption unit for the city and if that is allowed to get concretised, the city would become a furnace.

Source: This post is based on the article “Explained: What is GO 111, the order to protect Hyderabad’s Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar, that has now been lifted” published in Indian Express on 23rd April 2022

Print Friendly and PDF