Hyderabad: Though Mayor G. VIjayalakshmi has boasted about the ability of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) in handling flood situation in the twin cities, several nalas and storm water drains overflowed in Sunday’s rains, including in Nacharam, Miyapur, Gachibowli, Kukatpally, Narayanguda, Adikmet, Balkampet and Serilingampally, apart from stretches along Musi River.
Most nalas have no fencing, which means invitation for a tragedy. A seven-year-old boy B. Anand Sai drowned in an open drain at Old Bowenpally on Saturday. He accidentally fell into the nala, as the damaged fencing around it had not been repaired since 2020. This is the second such incident in Hyderabad. Last September, a 12-year-old girl named Sumedha Kapuria died after falling into an open drain at Neredmet.
At the time, municipal administration and urban development minister K. T. Rama Rao asked GHMC officials to ensure covers for all manholes and chain fencing of nalas. He made an administrative sanction of Rs. 300 crore for the purpose. However, his instructions fell on deaf ears.
At many places, there are no covers on nalas. Several areas lack street lights, increasing the chances of accidents at night. When it rains heavily, it is very difficult to identify nalas from roads. Says Bhavaninagar resident Satish Reddy, “Thousands of commuters take the route connecting Mallapur and Nacharam, where a chain fence along the nala would help. It is very risky to take this route during night. Despite several complaints, this issue has remained unresolved,” the resident pointed out.
Moreover, due to lack of fencing, residents dump waste into the drain. “We can see piled up garbage in these open drains,” says Manohar, a techie who resides in Adikmet. “A fence along the drain would keep commuters safer,” he underlined.
Residents of Old City and IT Corridor say they have not seen a fence along the drains. “Leave alone cleaning drains near Chaderghat, municipal authorities have not even fenced it. This open drain is an invitation to a disaster,” said Iqbal Pasha.
As usual, GHMC officials remained mute when the matter was taken with them.