The residents said they were tired of the government’s inaction despite several appeals.

Hyd colony inundated again after rains frustrated residents threaten to shun electionsAll images: Balakrishna Ganesan
news Civic Issues Thursday, June 07, 2018 - 15:25

“We will boycott the elections. We will also see to it that no one campaigns here and asks for our votes,” said an agitated Anthony Mani, a resident of Shirdi Nagar Colony in Malkajgiri.

The low-lying colony in East Anandbagh has yet again been inundated with overflowing sewage water, which has entered the houses and affected the daily life of the residents, reminding them of the six-day ordeal they faced last year when they had to be rescued by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and municipal authorities.

Anthony, who is vexed with his house and the entire colony being inundated time and again, lamented that he either had to sell his house and shift to some other place or organise the residents against electing any representative.

“I have been staying here for the past 27 years, every time we face the same situation. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) authorities who promised to widen the nala to prevent flooding have failed to do so. Even the politicians are not paying any attention. When the water overflows, they come, take pictures and leave. We are tired of this drama. We want affirmative action to solve the crisis. So, I am thinking of asking my colony residents to boycott the elections,” he said.

Echoing Anthony, his neighbour and president of Shirdi Nagar Colony, K Muralidhar said, “This time we will erect banners and boards across the colony with the slogan ‘No action on water overflowing problem, no vote’.”

He added, “We are really tired of complaining to the authorities again and again. Two months ago, we met the Deputy Collector and appealed to him to clean the drainpipes ahead of the monsoons to prevent any crisis. However, they cleaned them only at the fag end and all the silt was left on the roads itself.”

He further blamed the GHMC for its inaction in widening the sewage drains. “The drains which are supposed to be 15 feet keep getting narrower when it passes through the colony. These narrow drains are incapable of handling the heavy flow of water and hence flood the colony during rains.”

In 2017, heavy rainfall completely flooded the colony. The NDRF had to be pressed into service with boats to rescue the residents and provide food.

“Those six days were a nightmare. Now again it is going to happen. We had to sleep on the roof and cook there. We are really helpless,” complained another resident V Lingesh.

Encroachment of nala

The GHMC authorities have identified that the problem of water overflowing in the colony was due to encroachment of the nalas and construction of houses in the path of water outlets. However, the GHMC has not taken any action against the residents who have encroached and built their houses.

“It is a well-known that the nalas have being encroached. How come a 15 feet wide nala becomes 3 feet when it passes through the colony? The government authorities should have rightfully taken action against the offenders, but they haven’t. Since the elections are nearing, the government fears that they may lose votes and hence are delaying it.”

Speaking to TNM, North Zone, zonal commissioner CN Raghuprasad, who visited the colony, said that they would soon deploy JCBs to desilt the clogged drains and also remove the illegal structures which were constructed on the nalas.

“We visited the spot, locals told us that the drains were covered with slabs and haven’t been cleaned for over 15 years. Our first action will be to remove these covers and desilt the drains. I have also spoken with the Town Planning officials, we have identified 25 illegal structures. We will demolish them after giving them compensation. We are planning to even desilt the Bandlaguda Lake,” he said.

 

Read: No lessons learnt: Why do Hyderabad roads get inundated so easily?

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