HYDERABAD: In a direction that sends out a strong message to government bodies, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the Water Board to create a new lake in Chandanagar after it was found to be in the wrong for building a sewage treatment plant (STP) within the area of a lake. The issue began nearly 10 years ago when activists first took HMWSSB (Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board) to the High Court for building an STP within the Lingam Kunta lake Full Tank Level (FTL).
The direction was issued on August 13, as per which the Water Board was asked to create an alternative water body having twice the extent occupied by the STP in the river basin of the area to provide another water resource facility. The direction, NGT noted, was based on the compensatory principle of substituting the loss of area of a water body in another area.
“This is being suggested as a one-time measure and not to be quoted as a general principle. The new water body has to be created in one year,” noted the directions. There are a series of other directions as well which direct the Water Board to minimise the area in the lake used to run the STP and retain the remaining portion as a water body itself and work on rejuvenating the same.
The Tribunal has also directed the water sewerage board to remove encroachments obstructing the inlet and outlet of the lake and restore the same to its original position. The NGT has also instructed the Rangareddy district administration, under whose jurisdiction the lake falls, to take measures to remove encroachments and unauthorised constructions by taking legal options. The Telangana government has also been asked to take immediate steps to declare the Full Tank Level (FTL) and buffer zone of all water bodies in the State, including this lake, and not grant permission to anybody to construct anything inside the lake.
NGT asked the Water Board to create an alternate water body having twice the extent occupied by the STP in the river basin of the area, based on the principle of substituting the loss of area of a water body in another area.