GHMC pays for plants washed away in 2020 floods

Hyderabad: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) authorities were paying to maintain saplings washed away in the October 2020 floods. Officials claimed the damage to plants in floods was minimal and they were unaware of payments by the civic body for maintenance charges.

The development on the banks of Musi was done citing major devastation during the flash floods. Engineers after checking the water spread area and velocity of the flow, had constructed pavements, cycling tracks and other infrastructure in such a way that the water flow would not disturb the structures.

However, the heavy rainfall in September 2021 coupled with about 23,000 cusecs of outflow from Himayathsagar and 12,000 cusecs of water from Osmansagar had cut the soil beneath pavements and other development at Nagole on the banks of Musi. It eventually damaged about 4 km of footpaths, cycling tracks, landscapes and other infrastructure which was developed at the cost of Rs 9 crore bringing the project to square one.

Surprisingly, even though 80 per cent of the developmental works including vertical gardens and other plants coming in the way were washed during the back-to-back floods in 2020 and 2021, the Urban Bio-Diversity (UBD) officials were paying Rs 1.68 lakh per month over two years for upkeep of the vertical garden at the Nagole bridge.

Sources said that the UBD wing hand in glove with the contractors were indulging in similar irregularities at several locations where they have been claiming the bills for unkempt vertical gardens which are about 70 in number across the city.

When asked about the same, a senior GHMC official on condition of anonymity said that it was only minimal damage and nothing was washed away.

He said that due to the continuous high-intensity flow from the upstream Musi has cut through the soil beneath the pavements disturbing the tiles set up on them. Without disclosing the amount of work damaged, he said that the GHMC teams have been working on restoring the damaged portion since last week and would continue until it is completely restored. Regarding claiming bills for the damaged vertical gardens and other plants, the official refused to comment on the issue.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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