The Telangana government on Thursday informed the Hyderabad High Court that Government Order (GO) 111 was 'redundant' as the two reservoirs at the city's outskirts, Osmansagar and Himayatsagar, no longer provided drinking water to the city.
GO 111 was issued in 1996, and "prohibits industries, major hotels, residential colonies or other establishments that generate pollution in the catchment of Himayatsagar and Osmansagar, up to 10 km from the full tank level (FTL) of the lakes."
Additional advocate general, J Ramachandra Rao, while stating that the reservoirs were redundant, also said that the state government would still ensure that the water bodies were preserved, if permission was granted to construct within the 10-km radius.
A division bench of Justice V Ramasubramanian and Justice N Balayog was hearing several petitions on the matter, which were clubbed together.
Meanwhile, the Telangana government also informed the High Court that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) at Delhi had constituted a committee to study the alleged construction activity in the radius of the two reservoirs.
After hearing both sides, the court postponed the matter for three weeks.
In June last year, the High Court had pulled up the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) over several constructions that had come up within the prohibited area around the reservoirs.
In response, the HMDA's counsel argued that around 84 villages fell under the area covered by GO 111, and pointed out that many locals had demanded that the 10km area be reduced.
Built in 1920 after the Musi floods of 1908, the Osmansagar reservoir, also known as the Gandipet lake, provided drinking water to Hyderabad in the early 20th century.
In February 2017, activists released photos, which suggested that the state had gone ahead and built a road right inside the FTL of the lake, near Kanapur village.
At the same time, the HC also issued notices to around 30 professional colleges located within a 10km radius of the Osmansagar and Himayatsagar.