Ranga Reddy District Collector M. Dana Kishore announced lake protection committees for all the tanks and a district level core committee to coordinate the efforts.

Local committees are already formed for 151 of the 517 tanks identified for protection, and plans are afoot to train and equip the committee members with information about the geographical spread and bio-diversity details of the tanks, he said.

At a consultative meeting with NGOs and citizens' representatives to devise ways to protect lakes on Saturday, he said Tank Inspection Registers will be introduced for revenue officials to sign each time they visit the tank with counter signatures by Irrigation officials and committee members.

Efforts will be made to take stock of the existing encroachments and freeze them, before initiating measures for their removal. Funds to the tune of Rs.50 lakh have been sanctioned through Irrigation and Command Area Development department for marking the Full Tank Level for 20 lakes, while proposals worth Rs.18.5 crore for other tanks await approval.

Stones with one-metre base and five-foot height will be used for marking, making it difficult for the encroachers to remove them, Mr.Dana Kishore said. Seeking community participation in protection of lakes, he said efforts from the district administration yielded only “mixed results”.

Director General of Andhra Pradesh State Remote Sensing and Application Centre K.Mruthyunjaya Reddy suggested plantation of trees along with FTL stones. A suggestion by Jasveen Jairath from ‘Save Our Urban Lakes'(SOUL) for grouping of lakes according to the network of feeder channels and formation of basin-level committees, found immediate acceptance by the Collector.

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