Commuters in Secunderabad are in for trouble as the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) has dug up a large hole and blocked an arterial portion of the Wellington Road near the AOC centre.
This move comes as part of the board's plan to build a new culvert, as the existing one was built during the British era, and was not able to handle the amount of sewage flowing through it.
"The British-era culvert's inlets and outlets were not taking the increasing sewer load, and it could collapse any day. This nala connects to Hussainsagar. The culvert was made of stone and the passage is too small for the current heavy load. It is important to replace it with a reinforced cement-concrete culvert and widen the vents. The SCB has sanctioned Rs 1.10 crore for the RCC culvert," Phani Kumar, assistant engineer of the SCB told Deccan Chronicle.
However, this move has drawn the ire of commuters, as they say that they were given no warning and the construction work has disrupted regular activity in the area.
"If I walk to the other side of the hole, its 100 metres, but if I have to drive, I have to take a route that's almost two kms. It is a major inconvenience. They should have made some arrangements for an alternative route at least," says Diwakar, a local resident.
With the road cordoned off, many by-lanes around the area are witnessing massive traffic congestion.
This includes heavy vehicles like trucks and school buses, which now have to pass through a dense residential area.
Even if the traffic does manage to squeeze through the by-lanes, it either ends up on the Kharkana-Trimulgherry main road, or the East Maredpally road, both of which witness standing traffic every day during rush hour.
"We are glad that the SCB is doing this. It is long overdue. But they have said that the works will take three months and the work will only finish in May. That is just too long. They should speed it up," says Santosh, a shop owner in the area.
Others fear that even the chances of meeting the 3-month deadline are slim.
"They dug it up last week. After that, they disappeared and came back after two days. Then again, no work was done for a few days. Even now, only two or three people are at the site. I doubt if the work will get done in six months at this rate," says Umesh, an auto driver.
The citizens in the area are also embroiled in an army-civilian conflict over the closure of the Gough Road near AOC.
While the road remains open during the day, the Army has shut the road from 10pm to 7am every day.
Another local resident says, "Already, we don't have access to the Gough Road at night, because the Army has shut it. Now even during the day, we don't have access to the road leading to it."
Even for pedestrians who have to cross the large pit, only a stone slab has been provided for them.
The thin slab can only accommodate one person at a time, and has just been placed across the 'nala' as sewage gushes below.
"If tomorrow someone falls, who will give us an answer? We aren't opposing the work. We are just saying that the authorities must do it properly, keeping in mind the convenience of the people who use the road," Umesh adds.