With nearly 34 apartments and 30 individual houses, it’s one of the biggest residential colonies in the city. It’s not just the size but the history as well that makes Czech Colony in Erragadda a prominent residential locality in the city.

As one enters the colony from the ever busy S.R. Nagar-Erragadda main road, towering apartments, colourful buildings and well-laid roads greet you all along the area.

Spread over a vast area, the colony is abode to over 1,500 families from middle and high income groups. Most of the residents living here are employees, businessmen and retired servicemen.

But why was the colony named as Czech Colony?

During the Nizam era, an ammunition factory was operated in this area. Over 50 engineers from Czechoslovakia were invited to work in the factory and nearly 50 bungalows were constructed exclusively for them to reside. As years passed by, the area was known for its Czech population and that’s how it was named, says Dr. Y.V. Raghavaiah, secretary of Czech Colony Residents Welfare Federation.

The locality then had large open spaces, roads, proper drainage system, parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities. The infrastructure, particularly drainage system and drinking water pipelines continue even today. Rest of the facilities like parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities are history, he says.

“In the absence of these facilities, it is the roads that turn into playgrounds for children and pathways for early morning walks. Like most of the residents’ welfare associations, we too want to have parks and playgrounds in our area,” says Mr. Raghavaiah.

The colony has five entrances and eight streets, which connects surrounding areas. It was replete with industries and heavy vehicles used to pass through the area, making things inconvenient for residents. Vexed with the heavy vehicle traffic, the colony federation restricted the entry of heavy vehicles.

It is one of those few colonies, which have a senior citizens forum and a women’s forum. This apart, the federation organises Federation Formation on Ugadi every year and celebrates Independence Day and other festivals on a grand note.

Given the proximity to main roads, schools and colleges, hospitals and other facilities, people prefer to live here. It is well connected in terms of transportation and one can reach Secunderabad, Begumpet, Kukatpally and Hitec City without much hassle, adds federation president G. Surya Sankara Reddy.

But the only thing that is lacking here is a park, playground and recreational facility. Though there is a small area, which is deemed as a park near the ‘Y’ junction, it hardly serves any purpose for residents.

Local MLA M. Shashidhar Reddy and Corporator Ayub Khan are doing their bit for the welfare of the colony, but the GHMC should provide some space for establishing a park here. Street No. 5, near the electric sub-station, which is hardly used by residents can be transformed into a park or the space near Hanuman temple or even the place near street No. 2 and south street corner can be used for this purpose, he suggests.

And the other thing that needs to be improved here is the drinking water supply mechanism. There are a few apartments in the colony, which do not get sufficient water and spend about a lakh every month for purchasing water from private tanker operators, he adds.

S. Sandeep Kumar

The origins of Czech Colony in Erragadda can be traced to the time when 50 engineers from Czechoslovakia were invited to work in the ammunition factory during Nizam’s era and bungalows were constructed exclusively for them to reside