Open drains continue to be a concern as stormwater drain project is left midway

May 07, 2023 07:44 am | Updated 07:44 am IST - VIJAYAWADA

An open drain near Jenda Chettu centre in One Town in Vijayawada looks garbage-free after it was cleaned on Saturday.

An open drain near Jenda Chettu centre in One Town in Vijayawada looks garbage-free after it was cleaned on Saturday. | Photo Credit: RAO GN

Open drains in Vijayawada continue to be a major concern for city residents. The death of the five-year-old Teku Abhiram due to drowning in an open drain at Gurunanak Nagar on May 5 (Friday) has brought attention to the need for redesigning or completing the open drains in the city.

The stormwater drains are meant to streamline the drainage system in the city. However, the project has been left midway due to various reasons. It is one of the major projects funded by the Central government and was taken up in 2018 at a cost of ₹461 crore.

However, the Public Health & Municipal Engineering Department (PHMED) has completed only 60% of the project, and in many places, the works are left midway. Part of the project is to cover all the open drains in the city. Unable to continue the project, PHMED requested that the State government hand over the project to the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation, but it is still pending with the government.

Waking up to the death of Abhiram, the civic body is planning to cover and raise a fence around the open drains in the city as an immediate measure.

VMC Chief Engineer M. Prabhakar said that though the stormwater drain project was stopped, VMC has taken up construction of drains at many locations, including Urmila Subba Rao Nagar, RTC Workshop Road, Mahanadu Road with crores of rupees on its own.

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