While the rain brings relief and cheer to many, a moderate downpour creates havoc in the Old Town of Vijayawada with many streets and houses flooding every monsoon due to lack of storm-drains and diversion channels.
About 1.5 lakh people living in Ganapatirao road, Winchipet, Islampet, Old and New Rajasewaripet, Kamsalipet, Gollapalem gattu and Mahantipuram areas in the Old Town suffer because of the deluge.
“Many areas in the One Town turn into ponds after a slight downpour. We have to fend for ourselves in the submerged houses as there is no way to drain the water until the rain stops,” Kota Siva Durga of Kothapet said.
The situation becomes worse when the water enters people’s houses. “The stinking water and the mosquitoes do not let anyone sleep,” Dilshan Begum of Winchipet said.
The pits that were dug up for the construction of under ground drainage (UGD) in One town area in 2008 have still not been filled.
Ironically, these water filled pits multiply the problems of the locals, causing all kinds of diseases.
Recalling the damage suffered due to heavy rains in One Town area in 2009, CPI city secretary D Sankar said about 1.5 lakh people were in a hell-like situation due to the stagnation of rain water, adding that they were stuck in water-logged houses without food for almost 48 hours.
After this, the state government had sent a ‘three-member expert committee’ to study the condition. The committee suggested the construction of storm-water drains and increase in the width of existing drains.
“But their recommendations have still not been put to practice,” Sankar added.
CPM city secretary Ch Babu Rao said that improper functioning of the out-fall drains are resulting in the inundation of the low lying areas. He suggested construction of new storm-water drains in every division.
It is said the storm-water drains and roads were constructed a long time ago during the establishment of Vijaywada Municipal Corporation (VMC) but was later ignored, which has now resulted in both financial loss as well as health hazards.
Many people and leaders found fault with the VMC officials for the situation, but the officials say they are taking all the measures for the construction of storm-water drains in the area.
VMC Chief Engineer G Kondala Rao said they will solve the problem step by step and added that the construction of two storm-water drains on BRP road and at KL Rao Nagar are going on.
Tenders would be called very soon for the construction of a culvert at the Nizam gate area and necessary measures will be taken to prevent stagnation of rain water in the area, he added.