Saturday, August 5, 2017

'Why Does Telangana CM KCR Need A New Secretariat?'

Senior Congress leader and former MP V Hanumanth Rao said there was no need for construction of a new secretariat at Bison Polo Ground in Secunderabad as chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao never visits the office.
"Why waste hundreds of crores of public money on constructing a new secretariat. As it is, CM KCR manages state affairs from either Pragathi Bhavan or his farm house. Why does he want to concretise the lung space and deprive youngsters of a playground," V Hanumanth Rao said.
Former vice-chairman of National Disaster Management Authority M Shashidhar Reddy said KCR's intention behind new secretariat buildings is to fill up his own coffers. "We will take up all steps to stop KCR. We will fight it out democratically to save Bison Polo Ground for future generations," he said.
The environmental cost of concretisation of Bison Polo and Gymkhana grounds is quite alarming. Hold your breath. It will rob groundwater recharge that's sufficient to meet the drinking water needs of entire Hyderabad for one full year.
Calculations based on groundwater recharge formula arrived at by rainwater harvest experts show that conversion of 60 acres of open land with porous soil will result in an annual loss of 192 lakh kilo litres of water, if the annual rainfall is taken as 800 mm.Hyderabad has an annual rainfall of 812.5 mm and thus the loss will be even more.
The state government will take overBison Polo Ground (37 acres) and part of Gymkhana Ground (23 acres) totalling 60 acres. This huge quantity of water can quench the thirst of 52.60 lakh people for 365 days.
Since this is a vast open area with high porosity amidst an urban jungle, concretisation of these two historic Army grounds will lead to severe environmental consequences. The immediate ecological disaster is heavy loss of groundwater.
As Hyderabad is already hard pressed for drinking water with poor groundwater recharge, any construction activity on Polo and Gymkhana grounds will lead to further depletion of the water table.
According to calculations given in the Rainwater Harvesting and Conservation Manual of the Government of India, an area of just 100 sq metres will yield 80,000 litres of groundwater if the annual rainfall is 800 mm. It will translate to about 32 lakh lit res (or 3.2 lakh kilo litres) per acre or 192 lakh kilo litres for 60 acres. The World Health Organisation (WHO) standards on drinking water have fixed 10 litres per person per day or 3.65 kilo litres per year.
There will also be other environmental consequences like damage to aquifers if huge buildings come up. Soil in Hyderabad is porous only up to 150 feet below which is a hard granite or bedrock.Construction of cellars and sub-cellars will affect the seepage of rainwater and the aquifers.
It will also have sociological and psychological impact as people living in Secunderabad Cantonment will lose 60 acres of lung space and open area for morning walks, exercise, evening strolls and playing. There was strong protests during 2001-2002 when the state government proposed to take over not only Bison Polo and Gymkhana grounds but also Parade Ground.
"Secunderabad is already hard pressed for open grounds.
Concretisation of these grounds will further choke Secunderabad. They have a glorious history and sentiments attached," said Brigadier Sashi Nair VSM (Retd).

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