Cantonment residents seek immediate solution to long-pending problems

Hyderabad: With the Telangana Assembly polls on the horizon, residents of Secunderabad Cantonment voiced their concerns, shedding light on critical issues that continue to plague them and their constituency. Residents and workers turned the spotlight on the problems that demand immediate attention.

One of the most pressing concerns raised by the residents is the irregular water supply in the constituency. Water was ideally supposed to come every alternate day or once in three days. However, the situation has worsened and it now is supplied once in four days.

Rajesh Mondithoka lamented, "Access to clean water should be a basic right. We have been suffering due to the erratic water supply for far too long."

Adding to this, many residents have alleged the existence of illegal water connections in certain colonies and independent villas. This practice, they claim, is an attempt to make up for the inadequacy of legal water sources.

"Such malpractices not only strain the water supply further but also put additional stress on the existing resources," Mani Pallerla told Deccan Chronicle.

Road repairs have emerged as another major concern, with several roads that have been in need of attention for decades. Some residents said that certain roads are yet to be repaired even after suffering huge damage due to heavy rains in July. "Ironically, after a certain drainage or sewage work is done, there is no follow-up patchwork. When I asked the contractor, he said it wasn't his job.

Another employee said that first, an estimate needs to be approved by the board before it can be laid. Why does the board need to approve something as simple but crucial as a patchwork? Most roads are in deplorable conditions," said Ravindra Sanki, general secretary of Vikas Manch, an NGO formed to address issues pertaining to the cantonment.

As a result of this, BT and CC roads in the area have become problematic to traverse, he said.

Moreover, residents have also complained about the restrictions imposed by the army in certain areas, affecting their ability to reach their destinations conveniently. ID checking has added to their inconvenience.

"Improper sewage management in ward no 8 has given rise to a mosquito menace," said Karina T, a student from the area.

The slums in Ward no 5 have seen little to nil development in several years, even as residents face issues related to water supply from tankers, inadequate drainage connections, and the use of common toilets.

"The living conditions in these areas are deplorable. As there is no drainage connection, we use only mobile toilets," said a resident of 108 Bazar slum in ward no 5, while her neighbour said, "Recently when somebody in the area died, it was so difficult for their family to visit due to army checking."

While the desilting of nalas this year has provided some relief during the rainy season, residents emphasise the need for a comprehensive, long-term solution to address the persistent waterlogging problem.

Meanwhile, SCB officials pointed to a significant budget crunch as the root cause of many of these issues.

"The lack of proper funding has forced us to prioritise projects over effectiveness, resulting in such problems," said a worker, who did not wish to be named.

Amid residents’ growing chorus for the merger of the cantonment with GHMC, the same has raised concerns about job security among SCB employees.

"We have been worried about the potential disruptions the merger may bring, including transfers to different locations and the uncertainty of seniority in GHMC positions," said another worker.

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