The Lede
www.thelede.in
Record rains lashed Hyderabad for two days
Record rains lashed Hyderabad for two days|Photo credit: skymetweather
Governance

Hyderabad Needs To Fix 425-Year-Old Drainage System

Heavy rainfall has meant inundation of many parts of the southern city

Manasa Chennapragada

Manasa Chennapragada

It was the heaviest rainfall in 111 years in Hyderabad. In 24 hours, Tirumalgiri in Hyderabad recorded 132 mm of rain. The only higher rainfall recorded was 153 mm way back in 1908.

The state of Telangana has witnessed heavy rainfall from the southwest monsoon so far this year.

R Ranga Rajan, scientist with the National Geophysical Research Institute in Hyderabad, says rainfall is expected this month since it is still the monsoon season. “But seeing this kind of rainfall in September is new. I don’t say that this is alarming but I do say it is good rainfall. In Mumbai we witness 400 mm rainfall. Now we have seen 130 mm rainfall for Hyderabad.

We are facing a flood situation because of our congested city. Our Hyderabad drainage system is designed to cater to 12 mm/hour rainfall intensity. This leads to severe flash floods in the city causing loss of property.

Unfortunately, lakes which serve as natural flood management mechanism in the city are also under pressure of urbanisation, encroached, silted or not functional,” he said.

Heavy rains brought normal life in the city to a grinding halt. Commuters were stuck in peak hour traffic as the thunderstorm set in.

Long traffic snarls were seen in the IT corridors of HiTech City and Gachibowli. Hundreds of techies returning from their offices were caught in the jam.

Bharadwaj Harish a marketing employee who commutes from Vidyanagar to his office in Rayadurgam says he faced a pathetic situation in last two days. It took him an hour and 45 minutes to commute from Rayadurgam to HiTech city metro station. “Normally it takes 10 minutes for me to reach HiTech city metro. I commute on bike.

After the metro pillar accident, we can’t even take shelter under the metro pillars. I could see many tragic incidents on twitter like Jordan who was electrocuted for stepping onto an iron rod which was in contact with a live electric wire. By seeing such incidents we are scared to walk on the roads too. There was severe water clogging. Our drainage system is not good. We are still following the Nawab time system.

But now there is a lot of change in population and commuters on the road. There are full of potholes and patches on the roads. Our government is least bothered about our problems.

Our problems will be understood by the leaders only if they travel in the traffic without following their protocol. They charge huge challans for not wearing the helmet or seat belt.

But they can’t manage the roads and drainage system properly. I don’t blame rains much because this is not the first time that we are facing this situation. Even for minimal rainfall we face the same situation. Our roads and drainage system has to improve rather talking about the rainfall,” he said.

A GHMC (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation) official who did not wish to reveal his name told The Lede that compared to other cities Hyderabad was much better in terms of infrastructure. “Our roads are very good. Out of 100% we have only 5% road issues. Drainage system is 425 years old and we need a lot of funding to build a new drainage system. Regarding the growth we had planned our infrastructure estimating 8 to 10% growth in Serlingampally (Madhapur and HiTech area) but now we see there is 16% growth. It is more than our estimation.

We want the public to be responsible during the rains. We request them to start an hour late. We had meetings with the IT companies and requested them to leave the employees an hour late during the rain which helps in reducing the traffic which they agreed upon.

Unlike other states like Mumbai which are newly built Hyderabad is a very old city. We need more funding to rebuild the infrastructure,” he said.