HYDERABAD: With the IMD sounding a Red Alert for parts of the State, those living in Greater Hyderabad limits, especially in low-lying areas, are a worried lot, with the memory of the 2020 deluge still fresh in their memory.
Several parts of the city were inundated in October 2020, remaining inaccessible for days. The State government then announced that it would come up with a permanent solution to the issue of inundation. However, not much has changed on the ground, except for the government starting implementation of the Strategic Nala Development Project (SNDP) a few months ago. Since this project has not been fully implemented, the anxiety of the citizens living in areas prone to inundation is understandable.
Incidentally, MAUD Minister KT Rama Rao, while releasing the department’s annual report 2020-21 recently, too asked the media to be kind in its reporting as he believed some areas of the city would witness flooding this year too as the works were in progress.So how prepared are the civic bodies when it comes to tackling flooding?
Following the 2020 deluge, the State government and the civic body have expedited implementation of the SNDP, allocating the project a whopping Rs 974 crore. As part of the SNDP, a detailed study of the existing nala network, the stormwater drainage system was conducted. The study identified critical narrow points, encroachments on nalas, trunk mains, feeder nalas and all other issues and suggested remedial works on mission mode. These include crucial works in peripheral ULBs.
Of the proposed 61 works, GHMC has taken up 37 stormwater drain works costing around Rs 747.45 crore under SNDP. The works mainly include construction and laying of box drains, re-modeling and widening of storm water drains etc. These works are under various stages of execution and a few of them would be completed by the end of this year.
GHMC officials said that they would do everything on their part to prevent any loss of life during the monsoon. With the experience of 2020, the civic body says it is prepared for the monsoon this year. As part of a pre-monsoon safety audit, the civic body has identified 250-300 vulnerable points adjoining different nalas and covered these locations with safety meshes and installed signboards.
GHMC officials said that for stormwater drains, the government has sanctioned 468 SWD works costing Rs 298.34 crore. The works mainly include construction and laying of box/pipe drains, repairs of storm water drains, nala safety works.
Of these 468 works, 279 costing Rs 139.78 crore have been completed while 98 costing Rs 94.11 crore are in progress. Another 19 works costing Rs 5.82 crore have been scrapped. GHMC says 371 works at a cost of Rs 56.31 crore have been taken up and 3.39 lakh cubic metres of desilting has been done till date.
To deal with emergency situations due to water logging and inundation in low-lying areas, GHMC will be deploying Monsoon Emergency teams round-the-clock.Each of these teams will have Mobile Monsoon Emergency Teams, Mini Mobile Monsoon Emergency Teams and Static Labour Teams.
Mobile and Mini Mobile Emergency Teams consists of four Labour per team on shift basis with a vehicle along with equipment such as crowbars, spades, dewatering pump sets etc., and safety gear such as shoes, raincoats, radium jackets, umbrellas, torches etc.
The government has sanctioned Rs 36.98 crore this year for deployment of 168 Monsoon Emergency teams and 160 Static Labour teams that would be on standby till October.
A total of 237 pump sets are made available in various circles of GHMC for dewatering of stagnated water as and when required during monsoon season.In addition, the CRMP agencies also deployed 29 Monsoon Emergency Teams to attend water stagnation on CRMP roads during the monsoon season.
As many as 76 officers have been appointed as in-charges for 74 vulnerable points in LB Nagar Zone, 32 for 52 vulnerable locations in Charminar Zone, 81 for 711 colonies in Khairatabad Zone, 52 for 52 points in Serilingampally Zone, 49 for 48 vulnerable locations in Kukatpally Zone and 79 officers have been appointed in-charges for 55 vulnerable points in Secunderabad Zone.
Following the 2020 deluge, the State government and the GHMC have expedited implementation of the SNDP, allocating the project a whopping `974 crore. As part of the SNDP, a detailed study of the existing nala network, the stormwater drainage system was conducted.