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Change comes from ideas. When ideas get supported by sustained efforts, it can turn even a dry as bone water body come alive with water reserves. And that’s what is happening with Gandipet.

At the onset of summer, gone is the sight of a parched lake bed which is often used to end up in youngsters playing cricket and cattle grazing. Till a few years ago, Osman Sagar, more popular as Gandipet, along with its twin lake, Himayath Sagar used to go dry by summer.

Depleting water reserves and the vast expanse of water shrinking to a pond or less would use to greet the citizens during summer. And regular used to be the rituals of devout gathering here to pray the rain god. In the last four years, however, things started to change for Gandipet and Himayath Sagar, once the lifelines of Hyderabad. The decision of the government to go for a drastic reduction in water supply quantum from the lake has resulted in Gandipet boasting healthy reserves now.

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With the drinking water requirements of the city are met through Nagarjuna Sagar and Yellampally, the twin water bodies of Himayath Sagar and Osman Sagar now have sufficient water levels. Currently, the water level in Osman Sagar is 1.176 tmcft against its capacity of 2.153 tmcft. This is mainly due to increased storage and nominal supplies from the water body. Earlier, about 20 mgd used to be drawn from Osman Sagar alone and with poor inflows, the water body hardly had any reserves during summer.

For the last few years, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) has suspended drawing huge quantities of water and only 4 mgd is being drawn to supply downstream, that also to keep the pumping systems, transmission and distribution lines operational and avoid rusting and damage, said a senior official. The HMWSSB takes up the maintenance works by spending about Rs 10 lakh a month. With the drastic reduction in the withdrawal of water, the lake is now back to its past glory and is now oozing with life and good reserves.

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The vicinities of Gandipet are all set to undergo metamorphosis with the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) gearing up for a landscape garden with a budget of Rs 35.60 crore. This initiative is being taken up under the Osman Sagar beautification project after the State government accorded administrative sanction of Rs 100 crore for HMDA’s tourism development plans in connection with the water body completing 100 years.

Plans are afoot to develop walking tracks, cycling track, chainlink mesh fencing, street lighting, landscaping, promenades and others for a length of 25 km. Recreational facilities like revolving restaurants, house boats, night camping are also proposed under public private partnership (PPP) mode.

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A drone survey covering the entire periphery of 47 kms for a width of 250 metres outside the full tank level area is already completed and a master plan for comprehensive development of different components is also being prepared. A special task force is set up for taking up the beautification project. To begin with, landscape garden in an area of 18 acres is to be developed. #KhabarLive