Water infrastructure remains out of focus in GHMC poll

The residents of Kabgir Nagar have begun to cook food at home about 10 days back. One of the worst affected areas near the Falaknuma Palace, water from a nearby nala flooded their homes in the middle of October.

A few kilometres away, residents of Shaheen Nagar visit their homes sitting in water, talk to neighbours similarly affected by the flood waters that have not receded and go back home. “They should open up the Firangi Nala channel to drain the water. The water in the lake does not belong to the lake. We are being punished to save someone else,” says Munnawar, whose house is under water right up to the ceiling. While the Shaheen Nagar area is under Jalpally Municipality, the downstream area of the Shukoorsagar Lake are some of the densely populated areas like Baba Nagar which have already borne the brunt of the flood.

While Hyderabad’s arterial roads have shown a dramatic improvement with the Comprehensive Road Maintenance Programme and Strategic Road Development Programme, a similar infusion of funding and focus is missing from water infrastructure which girdles the city and which brought the city to a halt for a fortnight in October this year. A Right to Information application has revealed that between 2014 and 2018, the budgeted amount on 32 major nalas in South Zone consisting of 57.78 km totalled ₹ 210.24 crore. In comparison, just for four road project components in the South Zone ₹ 670.47 crore has been budgeted. The RTI was filed by an organisation called Society for Safety of Public and Good Governance.

“The north and south basin of the Musi River is the canvas for water infrastructure in the city. Unless we take care of it citizens will be punished time and again. We need the will and sincerity to make the city safe,” says Lubna Sarwath of Save our Urban Lakes who has been campaigning against encroachments on lakes.

“There is some talk about clearing the nalas and investing in storm water pipes. Currently only 2-3% of the rain water goes through the square manhole storm water drains. This is criminal waste of a natural resource,” says Ms. Sarwath.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 2:18:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/water-infrastructure-remains-out-of-focus-in-ghmc-poll/article33144463.ece

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