Lake claims ‘part ownership’ of homes

Several homes in Hanuman Nagar Colony of Tatti Annaram get submerged in Oora Cheruvu every time it rains.   | Photo Credit: RAMAKRISHNA G

Several residents of Hanuman Nagar Colony in Tatti Annaram within the limits of Pedda Amberpet Municipality cannot live in their homes for about six to eight months every year.

They will have to hand over their premises to neighbouring Oora Cheruvu/Annaram Cheruvu — a lake which enters their homes uninvited. “There are about 10 to 12 houses where one cannot live during and after heavy rains. They are part of 25 to 30 houses which are badly affected by floods to the Oora Cheruvu,” said Kushal Deshmukh, a resident of the colony.

Quite a few dwellings, which lie empty now, have continued to be besieged by water from last year’s devastating rains during October. CC roads are submerged in water while sign boards indicating ‘Hanuman Nagar’ stand out. Several owners have rented out their homes, but tenants do not stay here very long. Residents recall that a boy of eight years drowned in the lake during recent rains.

“This colony was settled way back in 2004. We all purchased plots unknowingly, trusting the developer who produced a bunch of papers indicating permissions. It was much later when Irrigation officials demarcated the full tank level of the lake that we came to know about the irregularity,” Mr. Deshmukh said.

After demarcation of FTL, Revenue officials tried to demolish houses within lake boundaries, prompting the residents to seek legal recourse. “Court directions were favourable to us, and we continued to live here without hassle. As recently as 2018, more houses were permitted in the FTL by municipal authorities,” Mr. Deshmukh said.

Still, the residents stayed without any issue till October last when heavy rains lashed the city and surrounding municipalities. Since then, the colony was flooded every time it rained. Copious rainwater flowed downstream from areas such as Autonagar and Hayathnagar, continuously for about a month after the rains, residents say, and blame the Irrigation and GHMC authorities for diverting the flows from above.

Officials say, rampant construction activity in the urban peripheries has a lot to do with the diversion in the course of flood water.

“The lake’s sluices have been closed, and so is the surplus weir. Last time when it rained, we begged officials to open the weir, but residents of colonies downstream objected. So, the weir could be opened only partially,” said Nagasri, another resident.

The lake had a natural drain from the sluice, which was blocked when the radial road for the Outer Ring Road was built from Nagole to Gowrelli, without any provision for drainage underneath, Mr.Deshmukh said.

Petitions to public representatives, district administration, HMDA, Irrigation and municipal authorities could not find a resolution to the issue. “We were even threatened with cases for encroachment of FTL by officials from district administration. We were told, ignorance is no excuse! Officials who condoned layouts in the FTL space have gone scot free while we suffer,” Mr.Deshmukh laments.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 8:00:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/lake-claims-part-ownership-of-homes/article37099376.ece

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