HYDERABAD: The slum dwellers at Gun Rocks hills at Trimulgherry get water only for two hours from public taps. And, over 600 residents here have to fight it out everyday to collect water from the three public taps. Although it is the underground water that is supplied to them, residents here complain that often sewege from the nearby nala gets mixed with the water, as the pipelines are laid across a polluted nala. Women are forced to trek two kilometres for potable water.
World Water Day, celebrated on March 22 every year, makes no difference to their lives.
Moreover, in the absence of toilets or sewege lines, residents including women and children are forced to defecate in the open besides the nala. The slum dwellers allege that both Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) and the ward member have turned a blind eye towards their problems.While SCB maintains that the land belongs to defence ministry and has been encroached upon by the slum dwellers, residents refute the allegation saying that they have Aadhaar, voter ID cards and even house numbers.
G Chandrakala, a resident, rued that the locality has not seen any development in the last 15 years. “In the early morning for about two hours, bore water is released from the public taps and we stand in queue to collect water and store in drums. For drinking water, we trek two kilometers,” she said, adding that public taps go dry in peak summer and they depend on private water tankers.
For D Balaswamy, another resident, sanitation is their major concern. “We are forced to defecate in the open as we don’t have public toilets. There are no water pipelines and sewerage connections. Used water flows in the open turning into a breeding ground for mosquitoes. This leads to health hazards,” said Balaswamy, adding that in spite of many requests to the SCB for drinking water connections and sewerage connections nothing has been done.
On the other hand, ward member Bhagya Shree, too, claims that several representations were made to the SCB and to the chief executive officer for water connections.
“SCB is not responding and defence officials do not allow laying of pipelines for newly constructed public toilets. These 6 toilets are not usable,” she said.
SCB’s water wing superintendent, M Rajkumar, when contacted, told Express, that SCB will bear expenses to be incurred on supply of water by tankers in summer. “The entire settlement is an encroached defence land and SCB has no right to develop infrastructure in defence lands. We are supplying borewell water and public toilets are under construction,” he stated.