Osmansagar and Himayatsagar, the two lakes that have quenched the city’s thirst for decades, are set to lose their status as drinking water reservoirs for Hyderabad. The move to de-notify the two lakes as the city’s drinking water sources, it is reliably learnt, is to facilitate scrapping provisions of government order (GO) 111 that prevents commercial activity or largescale constructions in 10-km radius of the two lakes.
Information trickling out of the government, indicates the two lakes need to make way for real-estate development and provide for recreation in the wake of intense pressure from public representatives and realtors. Over the past decade, price of land around the lakes has skyrocketed with villas being developed within 10km radius being sold for anywhere between Rs 1 crore and Rs 3.5 crore. A committee set up as part of another GO 839, is studying implications of scrapping the government order (GO), particularly with a case pen ding before National Green Tribunal, seeking continuance and implementation of GO 111. It is expected the committee will soon recommend changing the status of the two lakes from drinking water sources to recreation, commercial and recreational fishing.
It is believed when changes are announced or become official, Osmansagar and Himayatsagar will lose their ‘reservoir’ status.With the government stopping drawing water from the two lakes sometime in midOctober last year, it is learnt a case will be made that the two lakes are not required as drinking water sources for the city, particularly with the city’s drinking water requirements being met from Krishna and Godavari rivers.
Incidentally, the officials’ committee, among other things, was mandated with studying role of lakes “considering the fact drinking water needs are met from Krishna and Godavari rivers.” It was also asked to “study alternate uses which the Himayatsagar and Osmansagar lakes can be put to use.”
Once the government announces changes and issues new orders to replace GO 111, the 84 villages falling in Shamshabad, Moinabad, Shabad, Shankarpally, Rajendranagar and Chevella mandals in 10-km radius of Osmansagar and Himayatsagar are expected to witness a real estate boom, with the demand particularly high for potential waterfront properties