Heavy rainfall on Wednesday morning led to massive waterlogging at Ranigunj. (DC Image:S. Surender Reddy)
HYDERABAD: Denizens woke up to an unexpected cloudburst on Wednesday morning, which soaked the parched metropolis and brought a brief respite from the scorching heat, but not without bringing myriad problems along with it.
The 8.2 cm rainfall exposed the pitiable civic infrastructure in the city as several areas were water-clogged and inundated. The annual nala desilting and Strategic Nala Development Plan (SNDP) taken up by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) proved utterly ineffective during the downpour. The authorities, however, described Wednesday's rainfall as 'bad luck' and admitted that they were unprepared for urban flooding. The corporation officials also blamed the Ramzan festivities, as petty vendors dumped huge amounts of flooding material on roadsides, which were supposed to be cleaned by Wednesday morning.
However, in Hyderabad, Seethafalmandi near Secunderabad received 82.8 mm rainfall, the highest as of 8:30 am, followed by Bansilalpet (72.5 mm) and West Marredpally (68.3 mm). Though the heavy rains, accompanied by gusty winds and lightning, brought huge relief to Hyderabadis, traffic and power supply were disrupted in many parts of the city.
Water logging on major roads in several areas of Hyderabad, including Basheerbagh, Khairatabad, LakdikaPul, Secunderabad, Kukatpally, Malakpet, Alwal and Uppal caused severe traffic problems. Yakutpura was the worst affected area, where several colonies were submerged in knee-deep water. A few locals were seen using inflatable rubber boats to move around.
Ironically, officials, covering up their failures, informed that Wednesday's incident was sheer bad luck. If the rain could wait for one more hour, the sanitation workers would have removed the trash, predominantly plastic material dumped by petty vendors. Authorities argued that floating material which was dumped during the Ramzan festivities resulted in blockages and inundation, especially in the Charminar, Khairatabad and Secunderabad zones. The corporation officials informed that the GHMC cleared the water clogging and removed uprooted trees which caused major power disruption in the entire city by 1 pm.
Out of the total 60 works taken up under the SNDP, the corporation till date has completed only 25 per cent with only 26 days left for the deadline. Several storm water drainage improvement proposals include Modukula Kunta to Kotha Cheruvu in Kukatpally zone, Mansurabad Chinna Cheruvu to Bandlaguda Cheruvu and from there to Nagole Cheruvu, Bandlaguda Cheruvu to Musi river, Bathula Cheruvu to Injapur Nala, Ramanthapur Pedda Cheruvu to Ramanthapur Chinna Cheruvu up to irrigation canal, and four stretches in and around Saroornagar lake up to Chaitanyapuri in Lal Bahadur Nagar Zone, Shah-Hatim Lake to Langar Houz, Nadeem Colony to Shah-Hatim Lake, Masjid-e-Abubakr to Shah Hatim Lake in Khairatabad zone, Errakunta to Kotha Cheruvu, and Singareni Colony to Saroornagar Lake, Appa Cheruvu to Mulgund Lake to Eesa River in Charminar zone, Neknampur Nala to Musi river, Eerla Cheruvu to National Highway 65, Rayasamudram to Nakka Vagu and AG Colony to Sanathnagar Nala in Serilingampally zone, among several others are either in their initial stages or in the midway. The corporation officials are allegedly not serious about the annual desilting programme which is running at a snail's pace. Due to the normal rainfall in eastern part of the city, minimal inundation and property loss were reported.
Admitting their failures, a corporation official said works under the SNDP and nala desilting would go in till June. He said as of now the corporation was focussing more on nala works in downstream Musi (LB Nagar), which caused major devastation for the past two years due to flash floods. The official also said nala works which were under progress in Yakutpura caused the inundation during Wednesday's rainfall.