The coming of the Metro here has done much for the high-rises and the shopping complexes, but residents at Uppal and Ramanthapur have to contend with more basic issues
The skyline of Uppal-Habsiguda-Nagole is changing rapidly, thanks to hectic Metro Rail construction activity. Top of the line showrooms and shopping complexes are coming up every other day on this stretch, reflecting its immense potential due to the upcoming HMR project.
Development, however, has been confined to the main roads, say local residents. Storm water drains are incomplete, and at some places non-existent. There are inordinate delays in getting municipal water pipeline connections. Battered interior roads are aplenty in new colonies in Uppal and Ramanthapur.
When it rains, Umesh’s family goes sleepless all night: his small two-room house at Vivek Nagar in Ramanthapur gets inundated with knee-deep water. A watchman at a private company in Uppal industrial area, all Umesh can do is to wait helplessly for dawn, hoping that somebody from the Uppal Municipality comes to their rescue.
There are scores of families residing in the interior colonies of Ramanthapur and Uppal including Srinivaspuram, Vivek Nagar, Ram Reddy Nagar, Venkat Reddy Nagar, Indira Nagar and Madhura Nagar who bear the brunt when rains unleash their fury. Flooding is regular at Indira Nagar colony in Nacharam vegetable market yard, which falls under the Kapra Municipal Circle.
“One has to visit interior colonies in Uppal, Ramanthapur, Habsiguda and Tarnaka to get the real feel of development. Public in the low-lying areas of Uppal and Ramanthapur continue to suffer during rains. The new colonies are not getting municipal water pipeline connections as well as roads and storm water drains on time,” says Babu Rao, joint secretary of the United Federation for Residents Welfare Association (UFERWAS), East Kalyanpuri, Uppal.
Water pipelines too do not look too realistic in the near future.
“Water Board (HMWSS&B) officials have made it clear that they do not have funds for pipelines. The colony residents have to raise 30 per cent of the project cost, while GHMC will pitch in with the remainder. Residents here are from the lower middle class and we find it hard to collect 30 per cent of the project costs,” says Nagole resident G. Sarath Reddy.
Corporators to blame
Representatives of several residential welfare associations here are also critical of the local corporators.
“They do not respond to our calls promptly and are least interested in listening to us. In fact, officials at the GHMC Zonal office are more responsive to our complaints,” says Raghuram Reddy, who heads the local Senior Citizens Forum at Habsiguda.
Drains before roads
The GHMC’s East Zone Commissioner Ramakrishna Rao acknowledges the issues.
“We are giving priority to storm water drains before we take up roads in new colonies in the low-lying areas. We have even approached the World Bank to fund this project. Due to lack of funds with the Water Board, we have come forward to fund 70 per cent of the costs to lay water pipelines in colonies. Mosquito control measures are always a year-long process,” he said.