Rodents damage buildings and pipelines

Water-sewage board turns a blind eye to the growing menace.

Hyderabad: Neither the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation nor Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) is concerned to tackle the rat and bandicoot menace in the city. Rats, that have been burrowing underground for years, brought down a three-storey building in Agra. The incident took place due to the rapidly growing rat population of the area, which has always been high. However, it has exploded so much in recent years that the rodents have been burrowing under houses, damaging sewage and pipelines and other infrastructure.

The city nalas have also become breeding sites for rats and bandicoots. Residents living adjacent to city nalas have been prone to rat and bandicoot menace which would pose a grave threat during the monsoon and has the possibility of weakening the basement of buildings and risking lives.

Over the years rats and bandicoots have been not only damaging the underground infrastructure but making burrows in the foundations of buildings which has the potential to bring them down. The water board has been already facing the music with drinking water and sewerage line damage. Even though the HMWS&SB has tracked the issue it has not taken it seriously.

The water board has been using most advanced technologies like Ground Penetration Radar (GPR) technology to identify cavities and pipeline damages but has been successful in finding the crux issue. In the Agra incident, after heavy rains, water entered through the underground burrows made by the rats. The authorities have vacated a family living in the house as the building became unstable and collapsed within an hours time. When queried about the same subject, the GHMC Chief Engineer (Maintenance) Ziauddin said that the corporation has not been taking any steps to curb the bandicoot and rat menace in the city. He said it would be a mere impossible task to curb such menace along the city nalas and storm water drains. He said that since the building adjacent to the nalas and sewer lines are private properties, the house owner has to take the responsibility of curbing such menace.

When tried to contact Water Board MD Dana Kishore and Operations Director Ajmira Krishna they were unavailable.

However, when asked about the same, the highly placed sources in the water board said that they do not have an idea about any action plan to curb the rat and bandicoot menace in the city. They said even though some of the sewer and drinking water pipelines have been damaged by bandicoots, the HMWS&SB has been ignoring it as a very common issue and did not take the issue seriously.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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