Hyderabad: For a city that has 4.70 lakh manholes, with most lanes having at least 10 in a row, the Sewer Board has only 58 AirTech machines. These machines are used to suck out waste matter from the drains.
And as the number of complaints regarding choked sewer lines are on the rise, manual cleaning has to be resorted to despite technical assistance. Each machine takes a few hours to clean a choked line and residents thus hire private unskilled cleaners, leading to tragic incidents. The Board says that it too uses manual labour if the depth of the manhole is less.
Ms Lakshmi Priya of Subhash Nagar, Jeedimetla, who lodged a complaint on August 4 which has not yet been rectified, said, “We are facing sleepless nights due to drain blocks. We are around 20 houses in a low-lying area, the rainwater runs down to our lane due to drainage blocks and this water then enters our houses.”
Mr K.V. Sridhar of D.K. Road, Ameerpet, added, “I lodged a complaint earlier this month but the problem was not rectified. I thus had to appoint a private contractor and get the drain cleaned. We had to spend money from our pockets for doing HMWS&SB’s work.”
Irregular water supply, polluted water and drainage issues also top the list of complaints HMWS&SB receives. HMWS&SB managing director Mr M. Dana Kishore said in a statement, “I have instructed officials to identify and train the workers who are being hired for sewerage works.
Secondly, contractors should also be sensitised about safety measures. For clearing sewer overflows in small lanes and by-lanes, the Board is introducing the AirTech machines soon. To remove silt from manholes, silt grabbers are being procured. We are also contemplating an insurance cover of Rs 10 lakh for victims involved in untoward incidents.”