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Telangana Government failed to safeguard lakes in Hyderabad city: CAG Report

Telangana Government failed to safeguard lakes in Hyderabad city: CAG Report
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Neither approval nor release of funds made for an action plan by HMDA

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Saifabad: The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for the year ended March 2018has found that the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) has submitted an action plan for conservation and beautification of 258 lakes to State government. Neither approval nor release of funds was received from the government, as a result of which the action plan could not be implemented.

"HMDA did not spend any amount on conservation/protection of lakes, except an amount of 12.62 crore on a survey of lakes during last five years from 2013-18," says the CAG report.It further states that continuous encroachments in the catchment, buffer area and the FTL of lakes coupled with inaction on the part of the revenue department to remove encroachments resulted in deterioration of lake health and threatened the very existence of the lakes.

The Indian Audit and Accounts Department have done major findings, which shows that even after lapse of three years after works were entrusted to the consultant and after incurring and expenditure of Rs 12.62 crores as of September 2018, even though the lakes were notified the survey numbers of the Full Tank Level (FTL) areas and the buffer zone was not notified in the Gazette.

Further it has also found that the list of 3,132 lakes enumerated was not comprehensive and excluded 146 lakes.

The report also stated that the Lake Protection Committee (LPC) did not have statutory powers to enforce its decisions. LPC could not ensure coordination between multiple agencies and failed to ensure the implementation of its decisions which led to pollution and deterioration of lakes in Hyderabad.

The CAG report also mentioned that the urbanization, however, has led to a steady reduction in the number and area of the lakes, besides unregulated solid waste dumping has drastically changed their physical and chemical character. There are 3,132 lakes (as of June 2018) spread over seven districts in Hyderabad Metropolitan Area.

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