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Hyderabad: Environmental activists crying foul over move to open flood gates

Hyderabad Lakes
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Environmental activists crying foul over move to open flood gates

Highlights

  • Hyderabad: Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar lakes have received heavy inflows due to incessant rains
  • Hyderabad: Lake activists question the decision, say it was meant to protect the encroached land from getting flooded. The water level heights stand at half the full tank levels, yet officials wanted to open flood gates

Hyderabad: Questioning the claims of officials of irrigation department over the storage levels in Himayat Sagar and Osman Sagar Lakes, environmental activists allege that the decision to open flood gates with regard to the parameters set by the officials point to the nexus between lake encroachers, politicians and officialdom.

"With just 1.198 tmcft storage capacity in Himayat Sagar and 0.521 tmcft in Osman Sagar recorded on Septembers 26, the officials declared that the water level rose to emergency levels, while both the water bodies had not reached full tank level (FTL) and the water had not filled the entire expanse of the lake area. This clearly shows that they were trying to protect the encroachments that had come up in the catchment area of the lakes. Most of the inflow channels have been filled with debris and the department has forsaken silt removing works," alleges Dr Lubna Sarwat, the general secretary of Telangana chapter of Socialist Party.

"FTLs of the lakes always stood at a height while the water spreads in several acres of land. Only the volume between the height of the FTL and the expanse of water in the area shows the quantum of water stored in the lake. While the FTL is 2.967 tmcft in Himayat Sagar, the present capacity is 1.198 tmcft. This shows that the water storage has not even reached to half the capacity of FTL," she argues.

She even shot an email to the Managing Director, HMWSSB, questioning the decision to open flood gates on September 27 without properly assessing the actual capacity and the holding of Himayat Sagar. "As per the parameters released by the officials themselves, there should be no such emergency warranted to open the gates even if the water swings up to 1754.9 feet in the lake. This is completely against the retrospective assertion of the senior officials who have expressed that both reservoirs have been designed to take two times more than their catchment's capacity," the letter said.

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