Hyderabad: Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister K T Rama Rao on Wednesday announced that a separate action plan had been charted out for widening of nalas and storm water drains by removing encroachments in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits.
Nearly 28,000 structural encroachments were identified on nalas and storm water drains, of which about 1,000 major encroachments are being removed in a phased manner.
Responding to a question in the State Assembly, the Minister said GHMC has taken up the annual maintenance of nalas including desiltation which would be a continuous process. “While 43.61 lakh cubic meters of silt was removed last year, around 75 lakh cubic meters silt has been removed this year to ensure free flow of drainage water. There is 186 per cent increase in desiltation of nalas through introduction of mechanisation,” he added. He said disposal of silt which contains hazardous materials has become a challenge and the government was trying to find a permanent solution for its disposal without causing trouble to people.
Replying to doubts raised by legislators, Rama Rao stated that vents were being created to avoid water logging on roads due to medians of Hyderabad Metro Rail. He ruled out implementation of the Kirloskar Committee report which had suggested removal of 28,000 encroachments on the nalas as it would render thousands of slum-dwellers homeless and also incur an estimated cost of over Rs 12,000 crore. Regarding compensation for removal of encroachments, he assured payment of structural and land compensation for slumdwellers with pattas and only structural compensation for those without pattas.
Meanwhile, GHMC has identified 13 chronic water stagnation points and action has been initiated to fix them. “Similarly, 346 road vulnerable points which are prone to water stagnation were identified and efforts are on to rectify them at a cost of Rs 121.44 crore by next monsoon,” he added. Further, GHMC also took up improvement of bottlenecks on 47 storm water drain at a cost of Rs 230 crore as a long-term measure to prevent water-logging in some areas of the city. The government had shut down 13 chemical industries which were releasing hazardous effluents directly into nalas, he said, and warned of stringent action against such companies.
The Minister said water stagnation and clearing of encroachments was a complex issue and as such, required a multi-pronged action plan to address them. Hyderabad city has only 1,221 km of storm water drains against about 9,000 kms road network, which resulted in water stagnation in various localities during rainy season. “Cutting across party lines, I appeal to all the political party leaders to extend their cooperation in addressing these issues,” he said.
He complimented the MIM legislators and leaders for playing an active role in clearing the encroachments on nalas and drains in different areas to ensure free flow of water during rains in the Old City. The Minister pointed out that none of the metro cities in the country were equipped to handle cloud bursts or sudden downpours. Following a suggestion by Speaker S Madhusudhana Chary, Rama Rao agreed to hold a meeting with all legislators in GHMC area to discuss storm water drainage problem and other issues to find permanent solutions.