Hyderabad: Nalas and drains are constructed to ensure free flow of sewage and rain water in the city. But in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), the purpose they serve appears to be different.
Plastics, polythene and other trash are the major components in the desilting material excavated from the nalas and drains in the city. Choking the nalas, plastic and other non-biodegradable materials turn drains into mosquito breeding centres.
GHMC officials last week conducted a pilot study of the desiltation components in an open nala at Virat Nagar in Shaikpet. As part of the study, one tonne of waste was excavated and the material composition was ascertained.
It was found that more than 40 per cent of the excavated heap from the nala comprised plastics, plastic covers, paper plates, water hyacinth, clothes and other materials. The rest was, 40 per cent silt (earthen material) and 20 per cent of water (sewage and storm water).
Another heap excavated from the same nala was found to comprise 70 per cent silt and 10 per cent of hard material like coconut shells, glass materials, debris etc. Only the rest 20 per cent was found to be water, said a senior official from GHMC.
The civic body officials said despite several awareness programmes urging people not to dump plastics in nalas and drains, the practice remained in the city. Apart from spreading foul smell in the locality, the choked nalas affect the health of the residents, as they turn into mosquito-breeding centres, he added.
Nala desiltation to be year-long exercise
The GHMC aims at completing nala desiltation works before May. Unlike previous years, the desiltation works will not be confined to May and instead continue through the year to avoid flooding and ensure free flow of water in the nalas during monsoon.
This year, the municipal corporation is taking up the desiltation works at a cost of about Rs 34.46 crore. Under this initiative, 292 desiltation works are to be taken up across the city, covering nearly 1,000 km of nalas length.
Plans are to take up desiltation of 83 major nalas using machines, 26 medium drains through recliners and 183 narrow nalas manually. The task of shifting the sludge from drains to nearest dumpyards is also being assigned to the contractors.
GHMC drive on plastic ban yet to take off
The civic body drive to impose a ban on the use of plastic bags below 50 microns in the city from March 10 is yet to take off.
As part of the initiative, officials had directed all plastic manufacturers to register their names with Deputy Commissioners of their area by March 18.
A meeting was also conducted with manufacturers last month by Mayor Bonthu Rammohan and GHMC Commissioner B Janardhan Reddy. During the meeting, instructions were issued to the manufacturers and traders to handover plastic carry bags below 50 microns to the GHMC officials before March 10 to avoid any penalty.
Officials said they had been levying fines and initiating action against traders using plastic covers, yet the problem persists. Till date, over 2,432 fines were levied on different traders with a compounding penalty of Rs 21.51 lakh.
According to officials, there are nearly 800 plastic manufacturing and trading units in the GHMC limits, out of which, only about 10 per cent traders were registered so far.