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Sunday, July 29, 2007

City buzz: 500 Hyderabad lakes to get life

Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy has finally turned attention on the need to restore the once picturesques lakes of Hyderabad. In all he has selected 500 lakes for development.

He has entrusted the conservation, protection, beautification and maintenance of these lakes in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation area to Hyderabad Urban Development Authority.

He said conservation of these all important water bodies are very important and they are vulnerable to encroachment by vested interests and land grabbers. Hence the HUDA should immediately swing into action and protect all the identified lakes in the GHMC areas by constructing lake buds and fencing.

He told the HUDA officials to take this up as a crash programme. The Chief Minister wanted HUDA to involve the nearby residents and form Lake Protection Committee. Dr Reddy also asked the HUDA to recruit sufficient staff by outsourcing, particularly in the Enforcement Division. This Division which now has only a strength of 8 staff will be increased to 80.

He said every lake has to be protected including the major ones like Himayatsagar and Osmansagar. All these lakes are to be taken up for purification and beautification later. No unauthorised construction should be allowed to come anywhere on the FTL or catchment areas of these tanks including the major ones like Himayatsagar, Osmansagar, Miralam Tank etc.

The Chief Minister also asked HUDA to speed up the Hussainsagar Lake and Catchment Area Improvement Project within a strict time-frame. He was informed by the officials that Master Plan preparation and detailed design for shoreline improvement, contractors selection works are in full swing.

The complete work on this project is expected to be over in the next two years. The Chief Minister was informed that 87 urban lakes were identified for improvement and conservation under Green Hyderabad Environment Programme (GHEP) scheme with an outlay of Rs.106 crore of grant from Netherlands government.

These lakes were classified into Category I and II as highly polluted and moderately polluted. However the Netherlands Government has withdrawn financial support from March, 2004 due to Government of India policy.

Now conservation of works of 12 lakes are completed in these two categories. Steps are also being taken to clean the Noor Mohammed Kunta Lake on NH 7 under Shivarampally village. HUDA officials agreed to take up the conservation works of all the lakes in the GHMC area on war footing.

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