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Save Lakes - Stop or Prevent High Usage of Pesticides and Fertilizers

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Respected Sir,

Earlier the drinking water needs of Hyderabad including our area Rajendranagar were met by the twin reservoirs of Osmansagar and Himayatsagar. Whereas today water is supplied from Krishna and Godavari areas. 

Water is very precious for all living humans and animals. If the water is pure and the disease will not occur and everybody will live happily.

As per G. No. 111 / 1999 previously of Government of Andhra Pradesh, presently Telangana State related one, several people of all walks of the life have raised various issues, like unauthorised constructions, pollution/contamination of water due to sewerage out flow and polluting industries within the vicinity of the Osmansagar and Himayatsagar reservoirs, making the water of these lakes not potable one. But, sofar none have spoken about the pollution due to pesticides happening to the water of these lakes. 

The water of these reservoirs is getting polluted/contaminated due to high usag of pesticides and fertilizers for the growth of vegetable crops in the following mandals of Moinabad, Shabad, Shamshabad and Rajendranagar.around upstream and catchment areas of these reservoirs. 

Because of which about 84 villages in catchment area of mandal the other area agriculturist are affected due to want of water for their crops and drinking purpose.  

Common vegetables grown in the above mandals are; Tomato, Lady’s Finger, Brinjal, Cabbage and Cauliflower.  

Fertilizers used are Urea, Ammonium Nitrate, Potassium Sulphate, Calcium Carbone and other available and suitable for good crop. 

Pesticides used are Monocrotophos, Rogor, Deltamethrin, Azadiractin, Lindane Carbofuran and other available and suitable to kill pest. One can ascertain the fact how much hazardous are the above named pesticides, which used on the above mentioned vegetable crops. 

More information is available on website. As per reports most of the above mentioned pesticides are very toxic to aquatic organisms with long-lasting effects. Very toxic to the soil environment and terrestrial vertebrates. 

We have to identify unsafe practices used by the farmers in the crop growing process which has adverse affects in the fruits, vegetables, grains we consume.

The present way of protecting the crops with pesticides of various types has deteriorated the health of not the people, other dependent species also soil and water.

It is the seepage of pesticide laden water from vegetable growing farmers’ fields is responsible for this polluted water to reach water ponds etc. causing pollution reaching ultimately the consumer. In addition, the pesticide residue content in vegetables also cause ill effects on residents’ health. Several samples of vegetables analyzed exhibited pesticide residues above the tolerable levels. Hence IPM should be implemented in true spirit with farmer involvement.

The concept of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) should be inculcated among the farming community. Even non-pesticidal management (NPM) could be tried first on pilot basis in identified villages. Some of the villages were already adopted by Central Institutions as well as Department of Agriculture for IPM implementation, but follow up later was not there, it appears. It is high time the Department of Agriculture initiate measures of awareness creation and implementation of IPM concept in these vegetable crops. 

The government of Telangana should either stop or prevent the high usage of pesticides and fertilizers by the agriculturists in the areas mentioned so that, these reservoirs water be made use for drinking water supply or otherwise the water from these reservoirs should not be used for the drinking water purposes, whichever areas it is being supplied now in Ranga Reddy and Hyderabad districts by Hyderabad Metro Water Supply & Sewerage Board.

As per the newspaper reports, it is expected the committee will soon recommend changing the status of the two lakes from drinking water sources to recreation, commercial and recreational fishing.

Once the government announces changes and issues new orders to replace GO 111, the 84 villages falling in Shamshabad, Moinabad, Shabad, Shankarpally, Rajendranagar and Chevella mandals in 10-km radius of Osmansagar and Himayatsagar are expected to witness a real estate boom, with the demand particularly high for potential waterfront properties. Is this should happen?

Lakes around Hyderabad with their catchment areas are protected under the act.Their pollution with sewage left by developing industries around Himayatsagar started in late 1980s and the lake became constricted due to blocking of water flow in lake’s catchment area. It is now hoped that Green Tribunal will not allow the real estate magnets to encroach.

As per the news report of today in a leading national english daily, the Managing Director of Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board had said that, Work for the next generation of twin reservoirs at Keshavapuram and Devalammanagar for the city’s drinking water requirements might commence this year, more than a century after the Osmansagar and Himayatsagar lakes conceptualized by legendary engineer Sir Mokshakundam Visvevarayya. As the existing twin reservoirs can hold 6 TMC of water, the future twins are being planned for holding a whopping 20 TMC of water each.

MD further states that, there is no link between G O 111 and the new reservoirs, Osmansagar and Himayatsagar are no match to these two in storage. The new ones are planned keeping in view of the future drinking water requirements. Dissenting voices are raised against the mega reservoirs, as people feared it will lead to replacement of G O 111, which prohibits high rise constructions in the catchment areas of Osmansagar and Himayatsagar.

When water can be pumped into the existing twin reservoirs from Singur, which will cost very less per kilo liter of water supplied from Gandipet, do we require water supply from new reservoirs which will cost ten times more per kilo liter?

As there is no statement related to check or to prevent agricultural pollution upstream and catchment areas, it’s look like the Osmansagar and Himayatsagar waters are going to used for some other purpose instead of drinking water needs.

Issues related to environmental hazards and other matters concerning public interest against the government order 111/1999 issued are pending before the Hon’ble National Green Tribunal. I do expect, the Hon’ble Tribunal will consider the issues raised in this representation and expect it will pass necessary orders to Government of Telangana to take necessary steps to prevent the water pollution in the reservoirs and other parts of upstream and catchment areas due to usage of pesticides on vegetable products produced in the interest of the people living in above said places. 

One do hope that, the National Green Tribunal should not allow to the Government of Telangana changing the status of the two lakes from drinking water sources to recreation, commercial and recreational fishing.

Thanking you,

Yours Sincerely,
TR. Madhavan
Citizen Journalist,
Life Member, Indian Red Cross Society

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