GO-111 Hyderabad – All You Need To Know
GO-111 is a government order was issued in 1996 by then Andhra Pradesh government to safeguard the reservoirs in and around Hyderabad that provide the drinking water requirements of the city. In recent times, the city of Hyderabad is connected to rivers Godavari & Krishna for meeting the city’s water supply demand. The result of urbanization and growth of the city has led to illegal encroachments and constructions on the Full Tank Level (FTL) areas as well as Catchment areas of these reservoirs. The reservoirs still serve as water sources for many neighbourhoods and encroachment of land near these reservoirs & lakes contaminates the clean water source. To stop these illegal activities on FTL & catchment areas of reservoirs & lakes, the Andhra Pradesh government issued a government order (GO 111) declaring a 10km peripheral area within the catchment areas of the 2 lakes – Osmansagar & Himayatsagar. These areas under the GO-111 were declared as No-Development Zones.
The lakes of Osmansagar & Himayatsagar still continue to serve as water sources for older areas of Hyderabad like Old City & meighbouring areas. To ensure the reservoirs remain clean, the AP government passed the GO-111 order to prevent any activities from happening within a 10km radius from the Full Tank Level (FTL) area of the 2 lakes. GO-111 forbids any residential, commercial & industrial constructions that may generate pollution around the reservoirs, the only permitted land use is by existing residential colonies in the already existing residential use zone.
The GO-111 outlines the guidelines to be followed by the Master Plan Use Allocation and it specifies 90% of the overall areas mentioned under GO-111 will be classified as land for Conservation Use & Recreation Use with only agriculture/farming and gardening being the only activities permitted on this land. The remaining 10% can be classified as Residential Use zone in the Master Plan. For the 10% permitted Residential Use zone, there are restriction which will apply among which the 2 most important restrictions that apply are firstly, 60% of the layout has to be either roads or open spaces and secondly for building plots, the Floor Surface Index is 0.5 i.e., the built-up area cannot exceed 50% of the total area.
To conserve the lakes, preserve the ecosystem and keep an active water source clean, the government has ensured that no industrial activities will be permitted 10km upstream & downstream on all sides of the 2 lakes to prevent acidification. Acidification of the lakes would mean serious health issues for the areas inside Hyderabad that draw their water supply from Himayatsagar & Osmansagar while also causing a loss of ecological balance due to the unhospitable condition of the lakes. The total catchment area of the 2 lakes is about 584 sq. km or about 1.44 lakh acres.
The areas that come under the preservation of GO-111 listed by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) website are mentioned below:
|57||Shankerpally||Ranga Reddy||Moinabad||Himayat Nagar|
|59||Shankerpally||Ranga Reddy||Moinabad||Chanda Nagar|
|61||Shankerpally||Ranga Reddy||Moinabad||Chinna Mangalaram|
|64||Shankerpally||Ranga Reddy||Moinabad||Pedda Mangalaram|
|67||Shankerpally||Ranga Reddy||Rajendranagar||Vatti Nagulapally|
|73||Shamshabad||Ranga Reddy||Shamshabad||Chinna Shapur|
|74||Shamshabad||Ranga Reddy||Shamshabad||Tol Matta|
From reports of a study conducted by Environment Protection Training & Research Institute (EPTRI), the 2 lakes have been prone to drying up frequently during the drier spells of weather. The main reason for this could be the numerous check dams and water harvesting strucutures (estimated to be 30,000+) due to which the 2 lakes Himayatsagar & Osmansagar have not reached their Full Tank Level in over 25 years. The government had implemented methods to help lake restoration by increasing inflow to the lakes by removing the obstructions in the form of check dams, removing illegal constructions in the FTL area of the lakes and increasing the green cover. The 2 lakes also provide water to the Musi river flowing through Hyderabad, the current Telangana government & Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao have promised to replenish & cleanse the Musi river which may also result in better conditions for Himayatsagar & Osmansagar lakes.
There have been repeated requests from realtors, farmers, politicians and landholders within the GO-111 prohibitory zone to amend the government order to aid development of the areas in the GO-111 order. Most recently, in October 2019, when the Layout Regularisation Scheme (LRS) came into effect, the government decreed the illegal unauthorized plots & layouts under GO-111 would not be razed and the restriction in place for land development would continue to be in effect along with the provisions of the HMDA Master Plan.
In August 2021, the High Court of Telangana questioned the 5-year delay in the state government’s efforts to preserve and restore the water reservoirs of Hyderabad. The High Court also questioned the delay in implementation of GO-111 to define the catchment areas of the twin lake reservoirs of Osmansagar & Himayatsagar. The HC bench has asked the special 5-man high powered committee comprising of 5 IAS officers in charge of implementation of GO-111 to revert back with the reasons for no-progress in the protection of reservoirs or face disbandment of the special committee. 5 years ago, the state government had planned to appoint a committee to evaluate the relevance of the GO-111 with regards to the present development scenario of Hyderabad. The water supply needs of the city are being provided by channels from the Krishna & Godavari rivers which has resulted in a stronger push for amendment of the GO-111, the government had promised to appoint a team of experts for the evaluation whereas it appointed 5 IAS officers instead and the plan has seen no progress since 2016.
Now that the High Court of Telangana has started asking questions, there might a change in scenario with either restoration efforts being taken up or amendment of GO-111 in which case the cost and interest of land around the lakes will skyrocket once restrictions are eased.
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