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Hyderabad: Activists question move to lift gates of reservoirs

Activists question move to lift gates of reservoirs
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Activists question move to lift gates of reservoirs

Highlights

The plans to open the gates of Osman Sagar reservoir are drawing a lot of flak from citizens. They say that the storage capacity of both the reservoirs is not full and there is no need to open the gates.

Hyderabad: The plans to open the gates of Osman Sagar reservoir are drawing a lot of flak from citizens. They say that the storage capacity of both the reservoirs is not full and there is no need to open the gates.

It may be noted that the Himayat Sagar reservoir gates were opened to release water downstream earlier this month. Lubna Sarwath of Save Our Urban Lakes (SOUL) says, "We have been told by senior officials that both reservoirs have been designed to take 2 times their catchments capacity. In which case and even otherwise, with the twin reservoirs not reaching full storage levels, there should be no need to open the gates even if the water level is 1754.9feet."

She adds,"The storage capacity at 1763.50ft FTL in TMC of Himayat Sagar is 2.967 and Storage Capacity at 1790.00ft FTL in TMC of Osman Sagar is 3.900, the present water holding in Himayat Sagar is 1.198 and that of Osman Sagar is 0.521 as given under head which is not even half of storage capacity at FTL in either of the reservoirs the HMWSSB is answerable where the copious rains are going."

Activists argue that FTL levels are only being taken into consideration and the reason could be that the storage capacity has been reduced due to encroachments and due to silt deposits.

There have been several representations to evict ORO sports village right inside the FTL of Osman Sagar. Dr Jasven Jairath, founder convenor, SOUL said, "We have been submitting representations for the eviction of several encroachments but the government has been silent all these years." She adds, "FTL geo coordinates have not been given to the first undersigned in spite of RTIs and discussions nor placed in public domain."

When even the FTL boundary of both the reservoirs is not geo-mapped how HMWSSB is in a position to determine that the reservoirs are at full storage capacity at FTL and how decisions are taken to allow precious drinking water downstream, asks Lubna. Meanwhile, slum-dwellers have been asked by Rajendra Nagar RDO K Chandrakala to remain alert as Osman Sagar floodgates will open at any time.

Chandrakala asked the officials to take precautionary steps and to raise awareness of the sensitivity of the situation among people living in downstream colonies and slums. The river Musi's water level has reached an unprecedented level.

The revenue officer asked the authorities to evacuate families living in low lying areas to safe locations.Osman Sagar 's maximum tank level (FTL) is about to reach its full capacity of 1790 feet because of the heavy rains. "The current level of the reservoir has reached 1786 feet in the catchment area.

"After touching 1789 feet depending on inflows, there is a possibility of opening flood gates at Osman Sagar at any time," said K Chandrakala, Revenue Divisional Officer, Rajendra Nagar Division.

Hyderabad has had heavy rains that in the last hundred years have been unparalleled. This has contributed to strong inflows of floodwaters.

Water from the tanks in surrounding areas also reached the city in addition to the floodwater in the city. Many of the water tanks are overflowing. The forecast from the Met department notes that there are chances of more heavy rains. Against this context, there should be a high warning for the entire official machinery,' he said.

It is reported Osman Sagar is just 3.5 ft short of FRL (full reservoir level). As heavy rains are forecast for next three days, there is high likelihood of Osmansagar reaching FRL and water need to be released in next 1 or 2 days or in much shorter time.

HMWSSB MD Dana Kishore urged evacuation of people in the areas that are likely to get affected from Osman Sagar downstream to Bapughat confluence. Manchirevula, Narsingi, Gandhamguda, Ramdevguda, Hydershakota are some of the habitations lie in the course of the stream

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