Telangana HC sets deadline for GHMC to erect fencing around water bodies

As a preliminary measure, the  court has deemed it necessary for GHMC to fence the entire area surrounding the subject water body.
Telangana High Court. (Photo | Wikimedia Commons)
Telangana High Court. (Photo | Wikimedia Commons)

HYDERABAD: The Telangana High Court on Wednesday directed the Commissioner of Uppal Municipality to present a comprehensive plan of action developed by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) for safeguarding the region’s lakes.

A division bench, comprising  Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice NV Shravan Kumar, made it clear that the report to be submitted by GHMC should specify the timeline for installation of the protective fencing around these water bodies.

This legal action stems from a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) initiated following a letter addressed to the Court by Dr KL Vyas, who serves as the Professor and Head of the Department of Hindi at Osmania University. Dr Vyas expressed concerns over encroachment of Ramanthapur Pedda Cheruvu, an extensive water body spanning 26 acres.

The court observed that the urban lakes, integral components of the local eco-heritage, are crucial for safeguarding the interests of future generations.They fulfil vital roles, such as replenishing underground water resources, contributing to local climate regulation, and supporting the overall ecological balance.

Furthermore, these water bodies play a pivotal role in raising the water table in the surrounding regions, which helps in maintaining environmental equilibrium. Thus, the imperative to safeguard these water bodies cannot be overstated.

The court has instructed the authorities concerned to take immediate action to protect Ramanthapur Pedda Cheruvu. This includes measures such as desilting the lake to enhance its depth and water-holding capacity, clearing all encroachments within its buffer zone, and preventing the discharge of drainage or effluents.

Additionally, GHMC has been tasked with undertaking plantation efforts in the catchment areas to mitigate soil erosion and further desilting.As a preliminary measure, the  court has deemed it necessary for GHMC to fence the entire area surrounding the subject water body.

This step is aimed at preventing encroachments and halting its misuse as a dumping ground. The Court has scheduled the next hearing for October 5, 2023, to review progress and ensure the effective protection of these vital natural resources.

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