As part of the precautionary measures, 1,500 residents from Dhobi Galli in Malakpet were shifted to shelter homes on Wednesday by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation.

Flooded colony in Chaderghat
news Flood Wednesday, July 27, 2022 - 19:05

With the Musi river flowing in full spate, hundreds of families living in the low-lying areas alongside the river in Chaderghat and Moosarambagh areas who have been evacuated, are eagerly waiting for the water to recede. “Without electricity or any basic facility, we have been staying here for more than 24 hours out in the open,” says 80-year-old Daulat Bi, a resident of Moosa Nagar, located next to the Chaderghat bridge. 

Daulat’s house is among the many houses that have been submerged in the flood water. Though the government has arranged for relief centres in government buildings and other establishments, Daulat’s family has sought refuge under the Chaderghat bridge, in the same neighbourhood with all their essential belongings fearing that someone might loot her home. “We could not sleep last night. Mosquitoes and the threat of the flood water increasing kept us restless. We are tired and want to go back to our homes as soon as the water drains out. It is going to be a lot of work. The walls of the house must have gotten weak, we need to get them fixed,” she says. 

In Moosa Nagar, a settlement with nearly 379 families, at least 50 houses have been inundated with flood water. Despite this, many families have preferred to seek shelter in the houses of their neighbours which are unaffected by the flood water. 

The families who are seeking shelter in the open

Moosa Nagar, Shankar Nagar, Kamala Nagar and several other areas located along the Musi river flooded after the gates of Himayat Sagar and Osman Sagar reservoirs which reached Full-Tank-Level were opened. The settlements along the Musi river have been encroached by the residents, who hope that the state government’s 2 BHK dignity housing scheme would be extended to them as well. 

“The flooding of our colonies has become a recurring problem now. Two years ago also we faced the same situation and we were struggling in the same manner. So, the government should help us by giving us a pakka house somewhere in the vicinity. We are working-class people who cannot afford to pay Rs 5,000-Rs 6,000 as rent. How can we relocate without any government help?” says Mohammed Rafeeq, another resident.    

The heavy flow of water in the river forced authorities to shut down the Moosarambagh bridge on Tuesday evening. Authorities continue to maintain vigil and are evacuating residents from the low-lying areas. As part of the precautionary measures, 1,500 residents from Dhobi Galli in Malakpet were shifted to shelter homes on Wednesday by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation.

Meanwhile, activist Lubna Sarwath, president of the Water Resources Council, has alleged that the reservoirs — Himayat Sagar and Osman Sagar — have not reached Full-Tank-Level (FTL), as authorities claim. According to her, the present flooding is a consequence of encroachments inside the FTL boundary, which are being overlooked by the authorities and the government.  

“The claim of reaching near Full Tank Levels and Storage capacities is a result of huge shrinkage in the area and storage capacity. There are official proofs of encroachments inside the twin Dam-Reservoirs, in full knowledge of the Ministry of Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Chief Minister’s Office, District Collector cum Magistrate of Ranga Reddy District and other officials including Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB). No action has been taken to evict the encroachments in spite of representations being submitted multiple times and the latest being on June 23 2022 to the office of the District Magistrate cum Collector of Ranga Reddy,” she says in a press note.

She says her on-field fact-finding has found encroachments of constructions, compound walls and fencing inside the FTL boundary. The HMWSSB FTL pillars, demarcating the area, have been uprooted. Lubna has shared pictures of these to substantiate her claims. 

“How can reservoirs be considered to be full or to the officially claimed capacities and heights, when there are numerous encroachments officially identified/unidentified and vast stretches of land inside the FTL boundaries? Why are FTL boundaries maps of Osman Sagar and Himayath Sagar not in the public domain?” she asks. 

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