FTL levels manipulated to save usurper

 Telangana | Written by : Suryaa Desk Updated: Sun, Apr 09, 2017, 12:53 PM

Hyderabad : Lake Protection Authority has manipulated the full tank level (FTL) of Kapra Lake in collusion with the encroacher, according to Save Our Urban Lakes (SOUL) activists.

The SOUL activists told The Hans India that the authorities were even misleading the courts with the help of manipulated maps. In order to prove their claims, the activists released five static satellite images from 2000 and 2013.

The SOUL had approached the High Court in 2014, seeking direction to the government to save the lake. Eleven persons, including the alleged encroacher G Balreddy, Ranga Reddy District Collector, GHMC, HMDA, Irrigation and Revenue officials were cited in the petition. The counter affidavit submitted by the Ranga Reddy District Collector confirmed the charges of encroachment of FTL area and also the buffer zone. The encroacher had agreed to remove the structures (badminton court and tennis court) on his own within a period of four weeks, as mentioned in the High Court order last year. 

But it did not happen. The SOUL filed a Contempt of Court petition this year.  A joint inspection, as was ordered by the High Court was conducted on March 23, by Irrigation, Revenue and other officials apart from SOUL members.

Against this backdrop, Soul Co-Convener Lubna Sarwath said, "Officials hurriedly fenced off the lake. The fencing left out the buffer zone, and was straight notwithstanding the angularity of the lake as shown in the map submitted to the High Court last year. She said FTL pillars were moved into the lake, so that the structures can be shown outside the buffer zone.

She alleged that the authorities have been even misleading the High Court with the help of manipulated maps. She said her demand that the distance between the structures and the fencing be measured for comparison with the map was rejected by the authorities.

"Officials did not use the immovable structure, i.e, the badminton court, as a reference point for determining and demolishing construction, but used the manipulated FTL pillars as reference point to measure buffer zone. Thus, the entire structure was shown outside the buffer zone area," she said.  

She also said t there was also an order by Lok Ayukta in 2014, which too was not produced before the High Court. Lubna said she would fight for justice. She demanded that the encroachments in the FTL area of Kapra Lake be dismantled. When queried, Lake Protection Authority official refused to comment on the issue.