Hyderabad nala clearance works in limbo

The civic body initiated the exercise last July but majority of the structures are yet to be cleared.

By Author  |  Published: 16th May 2018  12:08 amUpdated: 16th May 2018  12:41 am
With monsoon fast approaching, the GHMC does not seem to have learnt its lessons from the past.

Hyderabad: Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation’s ambitious project to clear encroachments on nalas and widen them in different parts of the city to facilitate smooth flow of rainwater has been moving at snail’s pace for different reasons.

This is even after the State government according administrative sanction of Rs 230 crore for taking up the project. The civic body though initiated the exercise to clear encroachments on nalas last July, majority of the structures are to be cleared.

With monsoon fast approaching, the GHMC appears to have not learnt its lessons from the past, when overflowing drains left some colonies under sheets of water.

After conducting a survey covering 370 km of nala length, the civic body identified over 840 properties, which were identified as bottlenecks in free flow of water.

Not confining to demolition of structures, this time officials had planned to take up fencing works to prevent further encroachments and to widen the nala, wherever possible.

Unlike previous attempts, the Town Planning wing served notices on the structures, besides filing caveat petitions. This was mainly to avoid legal hurdles in clearance of such structures.

Yet, of the 840 properties, nearly 200 properties have been cleared so far. In the process of clearing encroachments, officials have also identified nearly 100 additional unauthorised structures in different areas.

The cumulative unauthorised structures were now over 940 in the GHMC limits and there were varied reasons for sluggish pace at which the works were being taken up, officials said.

At a recent meeting, the GHMC Commissioner B Janardhan Reddy had directed officials to expedite the process and complete the exercise at the earliest. It is learnt that specific instructions have been issued to clear the encroachments by June first week.

Contractors not keen on taking up the works

Apart from lethargy on part of the GHMC, there are other reasons for the delay in clearing the nala encroachments. Majority of the contractors are not keen on taking up the works, which involves cumbersome process.

This is a professional work and only skilled labour can take up such works as the conditions can be tough and challenging. At few locations, workers have to get into the nalas and even the machinery as well. There is a possibility of the machinery getting stuck, said a senior official.

This apart, at many locations, the structures are very close to the nalas and the contractors have to be very careful in ensuring that neighbouring structures foundations are not disturbed.
More importantly, these days many civil and road construction works are underway in the city and they are seen as more lucrative compared to nala works. Given all these factors, contractors were not keen on these works, the official said.

Despite repeated tender notifications, there has been no response from contractors. “However, we are scouting different options in getting the works executed,” he added.