Hyderabad: No good inflows yet at Osman, Himayat Sagars
- Present water level at Osman Sagar Lake stands at 1755.00 feet (0.027 tmcft)
- It hovered at 1763.75 feet (0.307 tmcft) in the same period last year
Hyderabad: Despite copious rains this monsoon, the two premier lakes Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar, major sources of drinking water to Hyderabad, have failed to attract sufficient inflows from upstream channels or catchments areas.
The present water level at Osman Sagar Lake stood at 1755.00 feet (0.027 tmcft) while it hovered at 1763.75 feet (0.307 tmcft) in the same period last year. This shows a deficit of 8.75 feet level of water despite sufficient rains in catchment areas compared to last year. However, the situation of Himayat Sagar Lake is faring a bit better than Osman Sagar in respect of receiving inflows from upstream areas.
According to official record, the water level in Himayat Sagar stood at 1738.40 feet on Thursday as against 1741.50 feet, a deficit of 3.1 feet, compared to last year same period.
Last month, soon after the onset of monsoon Himayat Sagar Lake received inflows from upstream areas like Moinabad, Shadnagar, Amdapur and Nagarguda etc. This has helped increase the water level in the lake by 4.65 feet within a week from 1728.25 feet being recorded on July 15 above the sluice level on July 23.
However, the lake still has to go long way to achieve the mark it has attained during the monsoon last year. The permanent storage level of the HS reservoir is 1763.50 feet while the bed level of the lake stands at 1690 feet.
Illegal construction blocks inflows
Heritage activists and experts say that this horrible situation is the result of illegal construction activity.
Though there are ample rains in catchment areas like Vikarabad which received excess rainfall of 488.8 mm against a normal of 371.2 mm, the Osman Sagar has not received much water because most of the water is being used for irrigation purposes. The Musi river, which flows into the reservoir from Vikarabad district, is the major source of inflow into Osman Sagar.
The HMWSS supplies about 462 MGD (million gallons per day) of water to Hyderabad every day, most of which is taken from the Krishna phase 1, 2 and 3 and Godavari phase 1 projects. The Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar reservoirs put together, however, supplies only 40 MGD of water.
Data from the Water Board's various rain gauge stations within and surrounding catchment areas suggests that the conversion of rainfall into inflows has decreased over the years, as the water received in the catchment areas is being impounded with check dams and is being used for raising crops in Vikarabad district and Tandur. Activists worry that this horrible situation is the result of illegal construction activity in these catchment areas of the lake but officials say that construction activity is allowed only as per rules of GO 111, which the state government passed years ago to protect the lake.