Encroachment of drains main cause of flooding in pilgrim city

Encroachment of drains main cause of flooding in pilgrim city
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People wading through knee-deep rainwater at Madhura Nagar in Tirupati following heavy rain

Highlights

The pilgrim city which was selected under the Smart City Mission has been facing storm drain water overflowing menace.

Tirupati: The pilgrim city which was selected under the Smart City Mission has been facing storm drain water overflowing menace.

Even for drizzles, some areas in the city including Madhura Nagar, Sundaraiah Nagar, Subhash Nagar, Indira Nagar and some parts of Bhavani Nagar are inundated in the floodwaters.

Indiscriminate encroachment of drains and waterbodies in the city for some years coupled with civic authorities turning blind eye towards encroachments with political pressures and lack of civic sense on part of public dumping waste into drains brought this miserable situation even for moderate rains, causing a lot of hardships to the people residing at low-lying areas in the city.

At some places, people in Madhura Nagar, Sanjay Gandhi Colony opposite to Medical College are forced to wade through knee deep water along with their children while going and returning from schools.

The main streams Malvani Gundam canal and Kapilatheertham canal meandering through thickly populated areas carrying rainwater flowing from the forest areas to waterbodies was almost disappeared in the city. Skyrocketing of land value also one of the major reason for encroachments.

Kesarla Janardan, a septuagenarian, said there was a two dozen waterbodies around the city earlier into which rainwater from forest reaching through numerous channels which were all vanished in the process of development and also turning waterbodies into colonies leading to this bad situation.

Reminiscing his childhood days, he said the Malvani Gundam canal flowing from Annarao Circle through other areas looked like a small stream but now people have to search for the canal.

With new colonies forming near waterbodies and shrinking of drains coupled with lack of proper maintenance and apathy towards encroachments led the city witnessing overflowing of drain water. Kandarapu Murali, a CPM leader, said no proper planning, delay in taking up construction of drains and above all corruption of civic authorities caused the deplorable situation to the people of Smart City.

The leaders and people residing at low-lying areas appealed to the civic authorities to bail out them from this appalling situation during rainy season.

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