Hyderabad: An inconvenient statement by an expert on the Biodiversity mishap has put a vital project to preventurban flooding that he had designed at the risk of being shelved.
Dr K.M. Lakshmana Rao, head of civil engineering, JNTU, had found fault with the flyover design after a car ran off the structure last month. The mishap resulted in the death of a woman.
Dr Rao has designed the Rs 4,933 crore project to prevent urban flooding for the GHMC. He had conducted a study with 225 engineers and identified 229 water stagnation points in 780 sq. km covering private and government land. He recommended the construction of 636 water tanks (385 on private land) and 2,70,350 rainwater harvesting pits.
This apart, Dr Rao said that the city requires 456.18 km of major and 1,092.046 km of minor stormwater drains. The GHMC had to spend `246.4 crore for stormwater drains in Phase I and `162 crore in Phase-2.
Dr Rao had suggested building reverse-cambered roads to transform the city into one with pothole-free roads and decent groundwater levels. He had worked out that inundated roads caused a loss of about Rs 3,000 crore, considering the shadow impacts in reference to physical strains and value of travel time. The cost of the project is a pittance compared to this.
However, the statement given by Dr Rao immediately after the Biodiver-sity flyover accident on November 23 has irked the projects wing engineers. Officials said that Dr Rao’s statement finding fault with the flyover design was political.
They claimed that an expert cannot comment on a project without examining the drawings.
Dr Rao had stated that the flyover had geometrical issues. He said the intersection of vertical and horizontal curves and asymmetric radius of the inner and outer curves was leading to accidents.
He said the flyover did not have road safety rollers. Due to this, even a vehicle travelling at a relatively low speed was vulnerable to accidents.
Offended by the statement, a corporation official said that they would initiate legal action against Dr Rao after the four-member independent committee evaluates the flyover design and submits its report.
The official said Dr Rao’s “unprofessional statement” was raising several doubts regarding the project on urban flooding. “We cannot go ahead with such unprofessional experts. We will take it to the notice of the government and re-examine the project prior to taking a final call.”
The project has been put in the cold storage due to a fund crunch. It appears that the officials have now found another reason to delay the project, at the cost of the city....