Only 40 per cent of drains desilted this year

Until last year, the corporation's pre-monsoon desilting operations began in April and ended in May.

Hyderabad: Despite carrying out desilting operations of nalas throughout the last financial year, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has managed to desilt a mere 40 per cent of nalas.

Until last year, the corporation’s pre-monsoon desilting operations began in April and ended in May. Since this still left many nalas choked, the corporation decided to conduct 365 days nala desilting.

Interestingly, the corporation, which managed to desilt 55.87 per cent of nalas in two months last year (April and May), has desilted just 41.24 per cent of nalas in a whole year.

Clearly, the nala desilting, whose purpose is to minimise inundation during the monsoon, has not served its purpose even after making it a round-the-year operation.

Not surprisingly, it is the manner in which civic work is carried out that is to blame.

The GHMC had not managed to finalise even 12 tenders of the total 42 works until March this year. Sources claim that GHMC engineers, hand-in-glove with contractors, have been deliberately delaying the desilting process.

Unlike encroachment removal, desilting work will not face resistance from either citizens or public representatives, so it is clearly civic apathy that is to blame.

Asked to comment on this, a senior civic official on condition of anonymity admitted that ever since the Rs 1.2 crore nala desilting scam came to light, contractors and engineers are deliberately delaying nala desilting work. They are doing this in the hope of getting certain relaxations in the contracts which will benefit them.

He said that though there has been a delay in carrying out the work, it picked up pace in the month of May and 2.23 cubic metres has been desilted in record time. He admitted, though, that this is a very small amount compared to what was removed last year and predicted that the inundation would be much more this year.

The desilting scam the official was referring to occurred last year when contractors submitted fake bills along with fake registration numbers of vehicles used to transport the silt, but which turned out to belong to two-wheelers, auto-rickshaws and cars. The contractors disclosed that 13 assistant engineers were hand-in-glove with them and helped get the bills passed without verification.

The engineers were subsequently suspended.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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