GHMC fines Hyd society for draining STP water into open ground, RWA says had no choice

Hyderabad's Nallagandla is yet to get a fully functional drainage system and the existing nala hasn’t been completed by the GHMC, say locals.
Aerial view of Manjeera Diamond Tower at Nallagandla under the Serilingampally mandal in Hyderabad
Aerial view of Manjeera Diamond Tower at Nallagandla under the Serilingampally mandal in Hyderabad
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On Monday, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) slapped a fine of Rs 2 lakh on Manjeera Diamond Towers for draining treated water from their Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) into open ground. The Resident Welfare Association (RWA) of the gated community however says that they did not have a choice but to release the water outside as the municipality has not developed a proper drainage system for the locality.

During a field visit by an inspection team, Manjeera Diamond Towers at Nallagandla under the Serilingampally mandal was found releasing treated water into an open area. The gated community has about 1,020 apartments with a 70% occupancy and an STP plant with a 500 KLD capacity. The builder of the property is constructing another STP within the premises with 500 KLD capacity. Officials say the existing STP plant operates at 350 KLD. The treated wastewater is used within the society for gardening and floor cleaning.

Sreejith Nair, a resident and member of the RWA at Manjeera Diamond Towers, says they have no choice but to release the water into the open ground. The locality is yet to get a fully functional drainage system and the works on the existing nala also remain incomplete.

“We have 15 feet wide nala (drain) passing next to our society and that carries the drain water for the 1,020 families living here. Unfortunately, this nala is not connected to anywhere outside the society, it opens into dry land. There is no facility from the GHMC to take the drain forward and that’s the real problem and not the STPs,” says Sreejith, who adds that the nala had been a great boon for the residents during the October 2020 floods. “When the basements were flooded, we were able to pump the water into the nala but again, it just flooded the open lands,” he says.

The RWA member said they had been following up with the GHMC to provide a proper drainage facility for the area. “Not just our society but even neighbouring societies don’t have proper drainage facilities. We spoke to the GHMC zonal commissioner and they had given assurances of completing the nala work but we still got fined,” Sreejith adds.

In November 2020, after the floods, the GHMC had initiated a project to study existing nalas and stormwater drainage systems, and identify critical narrow points and encroachments in the nalas. The government had also announced the setting up of the Strategic Nala Development Programme (SNDP), a separate wing within the GHMC.

The Municipal Administration Urban Development (MAUD) Department even appointed retired Chief Engineer, Roads and Buildings division, C Vasantha, to head the programme. However, in the recently announced Telangana state Budget for 2021-22, there was no allocation made for nala development and widening.

GHMC officials in charge of the Serilingampally zone were unavailable for comment. Reports suggest the SNDP remains a non-starter with no staff or office being dedicated.

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