Telangana polls: Problems aplenty in Hyderabad's Sanathnagar constituency

While the poor drainage system is one of the main issues in the area, people are also talking about houses, drinking water problems, bad roads and lack of street lights.
A file photo of the water-logged Begumpet-Balkampet underpass in Hyderabad. (Photo | EPS)
A file photo of the water-logged Begumpet-Balkampet underpass in Hyderabad. (Photo | EPS)

HYDERABAD: It has been a year since 45-year-old Fatima (name changed) was bitten by a snake in her own house, located near the railway track in Pattiguda, which falls under the Sanathnagar Assembly constituency.

The standard procedure in this slum following a snake or scorpion bite involves the victim getting an anti-venom injection at a nearby private hospital, followed by a visit to a ‘mantravadi’ to ease the irritation. “How long can we endure living with scorpions and snakes?” asks Fatima, who, along with 32 other families, has been yearning for a permanent home for years.

Located in the middle of the bustling city, this constituency is spread over a wide area from Gandhi Hospital to Sanathnagar, covering Ameerpet and SR Nagar as well as some parts of Begumpet.

Begumpet Road and Sardar Patel Road, which witness heavy traffic, are also part of this constituency. BRS MLA Talasani Srinivas Yadav, who is also the Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Cinematography Minister, is seeking re-election from the constituency.

Social activist, academician and author Kota Neelima, wife of Congress media cell chairman Pawan Khera, is trying to don another hat by contesting from this constituency on a Congress ticket. The BJP is fielding former CM Marri Chenna Reddy’s son Shashidhar Reddy, who previously won the seat thrice — in 1992, 1994 and 2004 — on a Congress ticket.

While the poor drainage system is one of the main issues in the area, people are also talking about houses, drinking water problems, bad roads and lack of street lights.

Flooding & sanitation issues

A spirit of fraternity can be seen in the slum where Fatima lives as the residents who have water connections allow other families to collect water from their houses. However, Fatima and others like her live in a state of anxiety, especially during rains when stagnant water enters their homes. “Keeping our toddlers and babies close to us, we literally sit under an umbrella,” she says.

The government, a few years ago, had offered some of the families 2BHK houses. However, the families decided to stay in the area as their place of employment is located there, she adds. The lanes and bylanes in this locality are in deplorable condition. A similar situation prevails in most parts of Balkampet, Ameerpet and Begumpet.

The residents say the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation contends that it has no funds to take up roads. When a complaint for a non-functional streetlight is given, it takes at least three to four days to fix it, and that too if the complainant is an influential person. Even though the locality got rid of garbage at vulnerable points a few days ago, the residents have again started dumping garbage because the Swatch Auto Tipper drivers are not collecting it from door to door, a resident of Begumpet said.

Apart from these issues, the prevalence of liquor shops is a menace in residential colonies. In the evening, those who visit the liquor shop park their vehicles in the area, blocking the entrance of the bylane and begin drinking on the road.

The residents of Padmarao Nagar are being forced to bear another problem — the foul smell of dead bodies emanating from the mortuary of the Gandhi Hospital. “The issue was very severe two years ago when bodies piled up and the fans inside the mortuary did not work,” said Thomas, secretary of Shambhavi Apartment.

Speaking to TNIE, BRS candidate Srinivas Yadav promises to install a modern tech facility by spending Rs 60-70 crore in Gandhi Hospital if he gets re-elected. He also says that a new policy will be adopted and liquor shop owners will be asked to relocate. Accepting that there have been several limitations, he said that he tried to do the best for people and is willing to do more. Srinivas Yadav, who also served the constituency in 2014 while he was in the TDP, is hoping to score a hat-trick of victories in the constituency.

It may be mentioned here that Kota Nileema had mobilised people against liquor shops in the area even before she joined the Congress. The last time a woman candidate contested from this segment was way back in 1983 when Katragadda Prasuna won the seat as an independent. She went on to become a minister. It remains to be seen if the people will support Nileema this time.

“Be it meat or dal, we should enjoy the taste of everything. We have been eating meat for the last 10 years. Let’s now see how dal tastes,” Fatima says sitting on the water-retaining wall built at the entrance of her dilapidated house.

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