City’s residents between wind and water

East Anand Bagh Colony, parts of Malkajgiri, low-lying areas of Nacharam and Uppal were flooded on Thursday after water from Banda Cheruvu flooded its banks sending swirling waters racing through the streets into homes and residential colonies.

“I reached office at 4 p.m. when my mother called asking me not to go back in the night as the area was flooded. I was shocked. When I reached home, it was like Venice with cars floating,” said Yeshwant, a program manager for Amazon, who stays in the worst-affected East Anand Bagh Colony.

Civic officials hurriedly tore down walls of the nala near Anand Bagh High School which finally led to dip in water level after nearly 26 hours of hellish experience for the residents. “My home is between the lake and the nala. About a year ago, a wall was raised on the nala and today, the water from the lake filled up the surrounding area. Even the newly-constructed houses on the lake bed have been flooded,” said Yeshwant.

A series of satellite images between 2000 and 2016 show how the lake has been gobbled up by land sharks. According to the civic body officials, the 102-acre lake has shrunk to 39 acres. An earlier estimate put the number of encroachments at 500, but 700 more have come up, said an activist.

Banda Cheruvu is a downstream lake of Ramarishnapuram and Safilguda lakes. Once the two lakes overflowed, the surplus water entered Banda Cheruvu which overflowed flooding the surrounding colonies.

“The rain began in the evening at around 4 p.m. and by 7 p.m., the water level started rising in the area. None of us slept and the first light showed the whole area covered in a sheet of water. It looked like a lake. Only the top of my car was visible. We stay in the first floor, so we didn’t suffer any loss,” said Praveen, who lives in Shirdisai Nagar Colony in East Anand Bagh area of Malkajgiri.

From atop the Qadme Rasool hillock, the havoc wrought by water was clearly visible. Houses on almost all sides of the lake were surrounded by water.

“The water has started to recede only now. Till 5 p.m., we had knee-deep water in our bedroom. All the rice and groceries are spoilt. In the afternoon, a few people served hot food and chutney. But now, I don’t know what we are going to eat,” said Abdul Sami, whose family lives at Qadme Rasool near Moula Ali.

The flooding was not limited to the East Anand Bagh Colony. Parts of Lalapet and Nacharam were also flooded as the water in the nala burst its banks and entered the surrounding localities.

Police had to stop traffic on the busy Mallapur-Nacharam Road as the water flowing in the nala threatened to sweep everything in its path. “I had to take a long detour and drive through waist-high water to reach my workplace which is just across the flowing water. But now, the water level has reduced and hopefully by night, it should recede to normal level, then I will go home,” said Bharat Kumar, who works at a mall.

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 12:56:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/citys-residents-between-wind-and-water/article19686056.ece

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