Telangana looks to do away with protection for Hyderabad-outskirts reservoirs

The decision was taken considering the pleas of the people of 84 villages in the catchment areas of two lakes to exempt them.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published May 18, 2023 | 10:32 PMUpdatedMay 19, 2023 | 3:15 AM

Telangana Finance Minister T Harish Rao speaks to reporters after a Cabinet meeting in Hyderabad on Thursday, 18 May, 2023.

In a decision that might evoke protests from environmentalists, the Telangana Cabinet, which met at the new secretariat under the chairmanship of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Thursday, 18 May, recommended the total annulment of Government Order (GO) 111.

The GO was originally issued to protect the Himayat Sagar and Osman Sagar reservoirs, on the outskirts of Hyderabad City.

The decision was taken considering the pleas of the people of 84 villages in the catchment areas of the two water bodies to exempt them from the purview of the GO.

Now there will be no restriction on the purchase and sale of the lands in these villages and the construction of buildings, like in all other Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) lands.

The Cabinet wanted special measures to be taken to protect the two water bodies. By another decision, it approved a proposal to link the Kaleshwaram Project with the Musi river.

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Some more decisions

In another decision, one that would please the Village Revenue Assistants (VRAs), the Cabinet approved the proposal to regularise their services, Finance Minister T Harish Rao told reporters.

The Cabinet asked CCLA commissioner Navin Mittal to frame guidelines for regularising their services.

The Cabinet also decided that the second phase of sheep distribution should begin within the next 15 days.

It also approved the inclusion of a representative of the Jain community in the Minority Commission.

By another decision, it approved the creation of 10 new posts in the TS Public Service Commission to make it work more efficiently.

Harish Rao, who is also the Medical and Health Minister, said that six district medical and health officer (DMHO) posts would be created for Hyderabad in view of its vast population. This would take the total number of DMHO posts in the state to 38.

Apart from this, the Cabinet okayed a proposal to sanction primary health centres (PHCs) for 40 mandals. The Cabinet also cleared the recruitment of permanent staff for urban PHCs.

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Agricultural decisions

Taking into consideration the complaints that spurious seeds were being detected in the market, the Cabinet also decided to clamp down on those who were in this illegal business. The state would book such seed distributors under the Preventive Detention Act.

The Cabinet asked the agriculture and police department to act in coordination to take on those who deal in spurious seeds.

It also constituted a cabinet sub-committee headed by Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy to ensure that the Kharif and Rabi seasons should be one month in advance so that the rabi crop would escape the April-May hailstorms.

The idea is to ensure that the operations are over by March itself so that the farmers would be able to escape from the fury of nature. The sub-committee will submit a report on how it intends to advance the season by a month, Harish Rao said.

The Cabinet also discussed celebrations of Telangana entering the 10th year of its formation on 2 June.

The celebrations would be held for 21 days and the government would come out with a schedule as to what programmes would be held on which dates in Hyderabad, Assembly constituencies, and villages.