HYDERABAD: After receiving rainfall for a few days, a majority of stormwater drains (SWD) in the city are clogged for the last few days obstructing the free flow of water owing to the lack of desilting work. The situation was similar last year when a majority of localities in the city were submerged in water for several days after heavy rains. With less than two months left for the arrival of monsoon and unseasonal rainfall still impacting the city, the desilting of nalas and SWDs are going at slow pace.
Though the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) claims that desilting work is under brisk progress in the city, the ground reality shows otherwise. Pre-monsoon desilting is aimed to ensure free flow of water in drains and prevent flooding of low-lying areas, stagnation of water on roads and traffic problems. In 2021, the GHMC has proposed as many as 356 desilting work orders covering 951 kilometres at a cost of Rs 45.28 crore.
Officials claim that the desilting work is in progress. However, sources reveal that the desilting work is being hampered as people throw large quantities of construction and debris material, pet bottles, plastic covers, footwear, damaged bed material, torn clothes and glasses into these SWDs.
More than 25 per cent of disposed waste is found in SWDs, obstructing the free flow of water. The accumulated water becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes and a source of foul stench, making it difficult for people to breathe.
To speed up the desilting process, Chief Engineers have been appointed in different zones to supervise and accelerate the work. This was done as per the instructions of the civic body administration and Urban Development Minister, K T Rama Rao. The GHMC through private agencies removes 3-4 lakh cubic metres of silt from drains but has no mechanism to either dispose of it immediately. The silt dredged out of the drains is deposited on the side of the roads, from where it flows right back into the drains. However, the contractors claim bills for removing the same.