Floods still a threat in low-lying areas of Visakhapatnam
By Rajarao / ENS - VISAKHAPATNAM
30th July 2012 12:18 PM
In order to arrest the inundation of low lying areas in the city, GVMC has undertaken massive exercises. However, only 20-km long storm water drain has been concretely built so far and the rest 82-km is yet to be completed.
Because there has been no downpour from the last four-years, the low lying areas of the old town area are not affected much.
However, during the rains of 2005, all the low-lying areas including Visakhapatnam airport, were immersed in four feet of water. Several families were affected and the flight operations were suspended for about 12 days. Taking a serious note of the issue, ministers, MPs and MLAs pressurised the government to take up emergency works to check the problem. Taking expert opinions, the GVMC raised retaining walls of several drainages and widened the present storm water drains as “box-type” culverts close to the low lying areas. They also introduced the Under Ground Drainage (UGD) system in the city.
The Visakhapatnam city, geographically, is different from other cities in the country. The new city has been developed adjacent to the hillocks and even a light rain causes water to reach the old town area. As 80 percent of the city has been concreted, the rain water automatically floods the low-lying areas. To curb the problem, storm water drains have been concreted at most affected areas like Gnanapuram, Lakshmi talkies and Convent Junction area. Speaking to Express, chief engineer of GVMC B Jayarami Reddy said that a majority of the drains are yet to be concreted.
To arrest the storm water from inundating the airport, GVMC has constructed separate canals and shifted the drains with box-type culverts into the city. There are proposals to construct a reservoir for rain water storage, but these are yet to be finalised.
There are several other low-lying areas at Sheelanagar, Pedagantyada and Gajuwaka that are threatened by the monsoon. If a downpour were to take place suddenly, several places in the city would be flooded.
There are around 1,200-km long minor drains in the city. The UGD works are under completion and at present, there would be no threat to the major low lying areas.
People should also take responsibility not to dump the debris and waste into the drains. Though the GVMC has de-silted the drains at several places, the people are still using them as dustbins, which becomes a serious threat, Jayarami Reddy added.
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