Hyderabad

Steeped in history and squalor

Visitors and shoppers are forced to navigate pools of filth and stagnant sewage on the southern side of Charminar. Serish Nanisetti

Visitors and shoppers are forced to navigate pools of filth and stagnant sewage on the southern side of Charminar. Serish Nanisetti  

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Botched civic infra project, paired with poor civic sense, ruins the Charminar experience

A botched civic infrastructure project, lack of civic awareness and sheer indifference are turning a visit to Charminar into a filthy experience for many. On Sunday, when a bunch of visitors reached the monument for an early morning heritage walk, they were in for a surprise. They had to navigate a pool of filth and sewage flowing from the southern side of the monument.

“The water keeps flowing from a distance and it turns the whole area filthy. Sometimes, the smell is awful but we have no choice but to stand here,” said Akram, who sells readymade clothes for children. By evening, the area is covered with dirty water with plastic covers, discarded by vendors like Akram, floating on it.

‘Maintenance issue’

It was only recently that the much ballyhooed pedestrianisation work near Charminar gained momentum and the four roads radiating from the monument got the cobbled stone look. However, it was not all smooth sailing as water stagnated near the southern side during monsoon forcing Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) officials to carry out emergency repair work. “This is a maintenance issue. Structurally, the gradient is perfect. The water is getting drained. If people don’t have civic sense, what can we do,” said a senior official of GHMC when asked about the issue.

“It is the hotel owners and juice vendors near the Begum Masjid who pour water on the floor instead of draining it in the sewerage system. On some days, the water overflows from the Mecca Masjid as well and then the other side gets flooded,” said Hari, a conservancy worker of GHMC.

On December 20, MA&UD principal secretary Arvind Kumar visited Charminar and inspected the progress of the work and tweeted about the visit. Another gentleman picked up where Mr. Kumar left off and posted a photograph of the monument from the southern side showing litter, refuse and the flowing sewage.

Matter of mentality

“Our officials have tried to persuade the cafe owners and juice vendors not to release dirty water onto the street but they do it when no one is seeing. We can clean up, but unless people have a civic sense, the area will not be clean,” said the GHMC worker.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 4:51:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/steeped-in-history-and-squalor/article25875245.ece

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