Himayat Sagar reservoir
Himayat Sagar reservoir Image Credit:

Hyderabad: Authorities have sounded a high alert in Hyderabad areas along the river Musi as one of two historic reservoirs- Himayat Sagar – had reached near the maximum capacity level.

With another five feet to go for the reservoir to fill to capacity, officials were keeping a close watch on the situation and were ready to lift the gates and release water in the Musi river.

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Two 109-year-old reservoirs, built during the Asif Jahi era, were recently in the news as rains throughout the monsoon season had failed to bring in any fresh inflows into them. Environmentalists had expressed fears that illegal encroachments in and around the reservoirs had endangered their future. While the heavy to very heavy rains in and around Hyderabad over the last week brought heavy inflows to Himayat Sagar, the other reservoir Osman Sagar was yet to get water.

In view of increasing level of water in Himayat Sagar and Indian Meteorological Department’s warning of more rains over the next four days, authorities have asked the people living along the course of Musi river to remain alert and be ready to evacuate on short notice as the gates of Himayat Sagar could be lifted any time. Officials said that about 3,000 people have already been moved to safer places. Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board, which looks after the two reservoirs, said that against its total level of 1763.50 feet, Himayat Sagar now had 1,757 feet water and inflows were continuing due to the heavy rains in upper regions of Ranga Reddy and Viqarabad districts. It is after more than a decade that the gates of the Himayat Sagar reservoir will be lifted to discharge excess water. According to the Board officials, the gates were opened last in 2010 during the monsoon season.

On the contrary Osman Sagar was getting only a little inflow despite unprecedented rains. Against the full level of 1,790 feet, the reservoir now had 179 feet of water.

The monsoon this year has proved to be the wettest season in a decade for Telangana and it received 46% excess rainfall so far. Rainfall this monsoon has been the highest since 2011, officials said. Telangana has received 1,082 mm of rain since the start of monsoon in June.