Hyderabad: With October 2020 floods and the aftermath still fresh in memory, the official machinery has decided to up the ante to clear unauthorised structures in lake catchment areas, encroachments on nalas and other structures that obstruct flow of water and result in flooding.
A preliminary estimate of Rs 2,800 crore, including work in Urban Local Bodies within the Outer Ring Road, has been drawn out for this purpose.

The idea is to initiate measures to avoid flooding of low-lying areas, strengthen and repair lake bunds and establish new stormwater drain networks. Instructions have also been issued to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to frame zone-wise plans and measures to mitigate damage due to floods. This was done at a meeting here on Monday attended by Municipal Administration and Urban Development Principal Secretary Arvind Kumar.

During the meeting, officials informed that 315 areas were inundated across 26 municipalities within the Outer Ring Road. In these areas, 573 encroachments were identified on nalas while 4,606 unauthorised structures were found in Shikam lands and 247 Shikham lands were occupied.

Arvind Kumar directed officials to finalise the zone-wise plans to avoid urban flooding and to implement the same by June this year before the onset of monsoon.

The Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department is working out a strategy to mitigate issues connected with flash floods, apart from developing nala connectivity and removal of encroachments. The meeting was part of this initiative to discuss measures specific to vulnerable areas. Based on the field level assessment and causative factors, initiatives required to address such issues were also discussed.

Zonal Commissioners were directed to disclose all details, including existing drain networks and proposed drain networks in the respective zones, lake area as specified by Irrigation department or HMDA and the current area, status of surplus weirs, sluice valves, protection measures, conservation measures etc.

GHMC Commissioner DS Lokesh Kumar asked officials to take up repairs, both temporary and permanent, in the 185 lakes under the municipal corporation limits. Focus was to be laid on assessing the functioning of weirs, sluice valves and bund strength and initiate measures accordingly, he said.

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