Musi floods: Lessons forgotten over 108 yrs
By Express News Service | Published: 29th September 2016 05:35 AM |
HYDERABAD: The ghastly flood that killed close to 15,000 people 108 years ago on September 28 has left a deep mark on the collective memory of the state. The tragic Musi floods significant till date as the city faced a similar, though less devastating situation only till a week ago.
“We are facing an almost similar situation today. It was because of our insensitive approach towards city planning that we destroyed natural water bodies and also the natural drainage system of the entire region which led to this complication for the entire city,” pointed Sajjad Shahid, a city-based historian.
According to Mohammed Safiullah, another historian from the city, the calamity over hundred years ago killed close to 15,000 people, while destroying around 80,000 homes in just 48 hours. Musi rose 15 to 20 feet, overflowing onto the sides and destroying lives and property.
The then Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan was as devastated as the city. With tears in his eyes after he went to examine the aftermath, the Nizam opened his doors and kitchens for those affected by the flood, said MA Nayeem, another historian.
“They were all set to transform the city’s condition and that was when Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya was called in to replan the city,” recalled the historian.
Sajjad, meanwhile, pointed that we did learn a lesson back then and the city was planned such that no flooding would occur.
“With time, however, we tend to forget. Political interference and lack of will from the government is an addition,” he said.
While the Telangana government is on a demolition spree, that won’t help provide the ultimate solution, opine the historian.
“There needs to be a comprehensive policy and will on part of the government. We also need to ensure that the law with regard to planning is adhered to,” opined Sajjad.
He also added that the city would have been far worse-affected because Hyderabad has had a dry spell the past few years. “If any of the reservoirs or the tanks were even partially full, the situation would have been much different today,” he pointed.