Nala Bane haunts Hyderabad
By S Bachan Jeet Singh / ENS - HYDERABAD
30th July 2012 12:16 PM
The recent spells of rain have exposed the vulnerability of storm water drains in the city. Almost all the city roads were flooded with rain water resulting in inundation of many neighbourhoods of Hyderabad.
The problem of inundation during the rainy season is not new. Heavy dependence on the open drains or nalas built during the Nizam period is cited as the main reason for this. Incidentally, only 10 percent of the total drainage network was created since independence. Hyderabad has changed a lot since 1949 and so, the obsolete Nizam-period nalas failed to meet up to the needs of the population surge in the city.
Adding to this, a majority of the residents have illegally connected their sewerage connections to the storm water drains and are letting the sewage into the nalas.
The storm water drains which were built exclusively to discharge rain water have been turned into sewerage drains by the Hyderabadis.
The major and medium open nalas have become garbage dumping points for the hotels and restaurants where they happily throw their waste.
Realtors are not far behind the other culprits. They have built multi-storeyed complexes beside these nalas leading to silting of the latter. These high-rises are built in direct violation of Town Planning laws and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is either in a deep slumber or is a part of this unholy nexus.
The flash floods in August 23 and 24, 2000, once again exposed the flaws of the drainage system by breaching the tanks in and around Hyderabad and leading to inundation of several low lying areas due to increased run-off.
Six years after that, the state government showed signs of waking up to the issue by appointing Kirloskar Consultants to study the causes of regular failure of the nalas and the modernisation that can be done to solve this problem.
The committee, after conducting a detailed study submitted a report to the government long back. But the GHMC appears to be short of funds to implement recommendations of the Kirloskar Committee.
Kirloskar Consultants had prepared a master plan for revamping the drainage system of 170 sq.kms in the Greater Hyderabad.
The work initiated by the Kirloskars, including widening and deepening of major storm water drains got stalled at several places as many people residing in the encroached shanties refused to do away with their homes. So, the work has been stalled for the last four years.
Putting a halt to the earlier plan, the GHMC has decided start a new plan to revamp the storm drains.
So, a master plan was created and Rs147 crore earmarked for the project under a new name, Jawaharlal National Urban Renewal Mission.
Four major nalas-Murki nala 1 (11.13 km), Murki Nala 2 (4.98 km), Kukatpally nala (4.23 km) and Balkapur nala (10.93 km) were identified. Till date, not even 10 km has been completed and an amount of `62.17 crore has already been spent.
11 secondary nalas, with a total length of 28.29 km and covering Yellareddyguda, Banjara Hills, Punjagutta, Erramanzil Colony, Picket, Yousufguda, Nagamaikunta, Kalasiguda, Gandhinagar, Dandu mansion and Indira park were identified for modernisation. Rs 124.10 crore was earmarked but till date work on only 3 km has been completed and `13.70 has been spent by the Corporation.
If the Corporation and the government works at a pace like this, many rains will come and go and Hyderabad being left at the rain god’s mercy.
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