Bandlaguda Jagir residents living on the edge

Only an hour’s notice if Osmansagar gates are to be lifted

October 21, 2020 11:28 pm | Updated 11:29 pm IST - HYDERABAD

T. Laxman, a resident of Gandhamguda, Bandlaguda Jagir, who has witnessed Musi overflow at least thrice in the past five decades.

T. Laxman, a resident of Gandhamguda, Bandlaguda Jagir, who has witnessed Musi overflow at least thrice in the past five decades.

On Wednesday, a viral video from Bandlaguda Jagir left people alarmed. In that, an employee of Bandlaguda Jagir Municipal Corporation could be seen appealing to people living alongside Musi river to vacate their homes and head to safer places as there were chances of the gates of Gandipet (Osmansagar reservoir) to be lifted the same day.

As one drives by Gandhamguda in the Jagir, a row of houses in low-lying localities alongside the river can be seen for a fairly long distance. While some are adjoining the river, some are placed a little away from flowing water. The threat of getting inundated is real for people living on the edge, literally.

Dream Homes colony is right on the edge of the river. Some residents of the community kept constant check on the water level on Wednesday afternoon. While children were seen playing in the gated community, the elders started to pack their belongings and leave. “There was no flooding here when it rained heavily on October 13. We were asked to shift to a safer place and are now doing so,” said Kamal Kishore, one of the residents of the locality.

Some of his neighbours too were preparing to leave. Along with them, people living in 10 more colonies were asked to shift to a safer place at the earliest.

The Municipal Corporation’s Commissioner G. Venugopal Reddy and his team mapped the places alongside the Musi river which are vulnerable to flooding if gates of the Osman Sagar reservoir were to be lifted. The 11 places include Bandalguda Village, KK Phase II, Venkateswara Nagar, Kukkala Manyam, Fort View apartments, Sowbhagya Nagar, Sai Harsha Nagar, Vishal Nagar, Sairam Nagar, Dream Home community and Carry Home community.

The Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of the Osmansagar is 1790 feet. By Wednesday afternoon, the water level had touched 1786.787 feet.

“If it rains heavily on Wednesday midnight, the FRL will be reached and gates of the reservoir will be lifted. Low-lying areas might get inundated. If the gates were to be lifted, one-hour time will be given. As a cautionary measure, we have already asked people living in the 11 colonies to move to safer places. We shifted some people living in shanties to a government school,” Mr Venugopal said.

The municipality employees corroborate that there are definite chances of some homes to get impacted if it rains heavily again.

T. Laxman, a 50-plus man who has resided in Bandlaguda Jagir all his life, has witnessed Musi overflow at least thrice and even cycled through overflowing water. On Wednesday afternoon, he was seen at the banks of the river. “We used to catch fish from the river. Now there are homes in that spot. I did not see it overflow in the past 15 years. If the gates are released and the river overflows, these homes will see the impact,” Mr Laxman said, pointing at a few houses seen from the river bank.

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