Residents say they haven’t seen good roads in at least three years.

So much construction so little road No end to travel woes of Secunderabad residentsThe road outside the Neredmet police station
news Civic Issues Sunday, February 19, 2017 - 16:37

Santosh, an auto driver, stands at a tea stall at Neredmet, sipping tea. "I come here only because I like the chai and it’s been my long-time favourite. There is hardly any potential here for customers anymore," he says.

Santosh stays in the area around Neredmet, but says he can’t find any customers near his home thanks to the state of the roads there. "Earlier, when the roads were fine, things were good. Nowadays, nobody wants to take an auto towards Safilguda and Malkajgiri. I don't blame them. Have you seen the roads?" he asks.

Santosh isn’t the only one whose everyday life has been affected by the abysmal state of roads. With thinly patched up potholes and sometimes large pits pockmarking every few metres of the roads, every commute is a back-breaking horror for local residents.  It has been three years since the residents of Safilguda and its surrounding areas like Anandbagh, Malkajgiri and Neredmet have seen functional roads. 

"If I didn't have a cab service to take me to work, I don't know how I could manage. The roads are terrible. It's been so long, that I almost forgot what good roads look like," says Madhav, an engineer from Safilguda.

But why are roads in the area in such an awful state? What reason could there be for them remaining in such poor condition for such a long period? Residents blame the several ambitious infrastructure projects that have been launched one after the other, which never seem to reach the the stage where dug up roads can be properly relaid again.

Pipeline project

One of the main culprits has been the Telangana Water Grid project. The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) first dug up these roads in 2014, for the multi-crore project to lay pipelines for uninterrupted water supply in the Defence Colony area. 

Many roads in Defence Colony, Sainikpuri and Safilguda were dug up by the HMWSSB, only to be covered up with dirt and stones. In many areas, deep pits remain to trap unwary commuters.

After crying themselves hoarse over the state of the roads, the residents of Neredmet did get a brand new main road. However, their bylanes continue to remain in a terrible state.

Even a road caving-in in Safilguda, which swallowed two vehicles and injured three, did not speed up the process.

Railway Crossings

Though the pipeline project was the biggest project announced in the area, it wasn't the first. 

As the population in Safilguda, which is a massive residential suburb today, grew, so did the need for better traffic management.

Railway tracks that are used by goods trains pass through several points in the area and the gates are closed for five to ten minutes every time a train passes through. This leads to a massive traffic congestion.

In 2013, a much-needed project was proposed – to build two Road under Bridges (RuBs) at East Anandbagh and Uttam Nagar.

However, while the project promised to provide relief to local residents, it has made things worse, since it is still a long way from completion. Two arterial roads remain blocked, and residents now have to take a detour of two kilometres at two spots even now.


Even as the commuters in the area were struggling to keep up with the problems of  two projects, work recently started off on Phase II of the Multi-Modal Transit System (MMTS). 

Addressing the media last month, General Manager, South Central Railway, Vinod Kumar Yadav stated that works for the Rs 817 crore project had already started, which included the tracks from Moula Ali to Malkajgiri and Ammaguda.

This has only meant another layer of construction work, right under the noses of the residents of Malkajgiri and Safilguda, with the work for the tracks extending all the way up to the RK Puram Bridge.

While the authorities have announced that the work on the tracks will be completed by December 2018, local residents say the track record of projects in the area does not inspire much hope.

AOC road closure

If the construction projects did not pose enough of a commuting problem, residents in the area are also fighting the Army against the closure of a cantonment road.

Last week, 1,500 Secunderabad residents took out a candlelight march from AS Rao Nagar grounds to Neredmet to protest against the closure of 12 roads by the Local Military Authority (LMA) in Secunderabad Cantonment.

The march was initiated by Federation of Northeast Colonies, Green Sainikpuri along with members of Open Secunderabad Cantonment Area All Roads (OSCAR).

They claimed that the road closure, would turn an 800-metre ride into an 8-kilometre ride for several residents.

The issue started in February 2014, when the army put out a notice which claimed that the entire area would be blocked, and the general public was advised to use the main roads to reach their destination.

The protesters complained that the alternate road they have to take is narrow, crowded and witnesses a traffic jam at least two or three times a day.

As of now, the army has maintained that the roads will close soon, and the LMA and the GHMC have already begun a joint survey to identify alternate roads from Safilguda railway station to RK Puram Flyover.

For the residents in the area, there seems little hope for a change for the better in the state of civic affairs there. 

"We have lost our hopes on seeing good roads, and breathing fresh air. When will all this construction work end? They will repair this only when the next election comes, and we will all forgive them and vote for them again," Santosh remarks.


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