Copious inflows into the city’s main drinking water sources, Osmansagar and Himayagsagar, have cheered everyone. But few seem to be bothered about the structures coming up in the catchment areas of the reservoirs. Farm houses, resorts and habitats in close proximity to the lakes are not only contaminating them but are acting as stumbling blocks in free flow of water.
During a recent inspection, Water Board officials stumbled upon a farm house under construction at Khanapur village in Rajendranagar mandal – very close to the Osmansagar FTL.
Officials found the compound wall being constructed by raising the ground level through filling of gravel. The structure doesn’t have a No Objection certificate from the HMWSSB or the HMDA, just permission from the Khanapur sarpanch.
The Board has dashed off letters to the Ranga Reddy district Collector and the HMDA for initiating necessary action. A worried Board has decided to constitute a Land Protection Cell to address the problem and safeguard the catchment areas.
The Osmansagar catchment comprising Vikarabad, Shankerpally, Appajiguda, Mahajanpet, Chandangar, Khanapur, Janwada, Reddypally, Kollur is spread over 280 sq. miles. The Himayatsagar spread over 500 sq. miles covers Pargi, Venkatapuram, Shamshabad and other areas. The former has the maximum capacity of 1.05 lakh cusecs and the latter 1.60 lakh cusecs.
At Mokila village in Janwada a construction company has built a temporary ramp over the pipeline, which might damage it. Notice is being issued to the construction company.
As per rules polluting industries, major hotels, residential colonies and other establishments are banned in the catchment of the lakes up to 10 km from the FTL. However, in the residential use zone development is allowed subject to certain conditions.
A total of 84 villages fall within 10 km catchment area of Osmansagar and Himayatsagar in the mandals of Moinabad, Shamshabad, Shabad, Kothur, Rajendranar, Shankerpally and Chevella.
However, authorities admit to pollution of the two lakes through sewage from the surrounding villages. The waste generated by the poultry farms and resorts and the pesticides used by farmers for cultivation all join the water body during the rainy season.
Last year the Board’s CGMs submitted a detailed report after inspecting the catchment areas suggesting provision of safe sanitation facilities by construction of septic tanks in the villages. They further wanted fencing of the area to stop unauthorised entry and encroachment of the lakes. But so far no action is taken.