Caretaker Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday promised the people of Chevella Assembly constituency that if the TRS is voted back to power, it would strike down GO 111, which mandates a 10-km no-pollution zone around Osmansagar and Himayatsagar. 

Addressing a public meeting at Chevella, Mr Rao said that the two lakes were not being used to supply drinking water, which was being brought from the Manjira and Krishna rivers to the city. After completion of the Palamuru-Ranga Reddy project, the waters of Himayatsagar and Osmansagar reservoirs will not be required to cater to the drinking water needs of Hyderabad. 

The GO 111 was imposed to protect the lakes from pollution and to prevent construction within a 10-km radius upstream and downstream both lakes. Mr Rao said that the Congress and the TD governments had allowed the entire catchment area of both lakes to be filled with

unauthorised concrete structures which obstructed the flow of water into the lakes.

He said a drainage system is required to divert sewage discharged from these structures from emptying into the lakes. The lakes need protection and should be developed as tourist spots, he said.

Mr Rao assured his audience that GO 111 will be quashed soon after he comes back to power. He cautioned that after this announcement, real estate dealers would plunge into the villages within the purview of the GO and try to buy land at cheap prices, and told the villagers not to sell their land which would fetch a higher price after the GO is quashed.

During the 2009 elections, the Congress’ Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy had also promised that GO 111 would be quashed, but failed to do so because of a dispute pending before the Hyderabad High Court.

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