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Hyderabad: With monsoon just about a month away, a series of measures to make sure low-lying areas are not inundated during the rains are being implemented in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits and its vicinity.

Some of the measures are already underway and the remaining tasks will be taken up as the monsoon approaches, officials said. The works include revamping the stormwater drain network in and around the GHMC jurisdiction under the Strategic Nala Development Programme (SNDP); appointing officials for every lake to monitor during monsoon; demolition of dilapidated buildings; pressing into service monsoon action teams; and desilting of nalas.

Prioritising the monsoon preparedness measures, the GHMC in its annual budget for the financial year 2022-23 proposed spending of Rs 400 crore for SNDP and Rs 260 crore for general nala widening. In addition to this, another Rs 150 crore will be spent for land acquisition to execute nala related works.

While executing SNDP works, municipal officials are focusing on rehabilitating poor families while removing encroachments so that the drains can be widened. Plans are underway to complete the SNDP works before the monsoon.

Meanwhile, an exclusive monsoon team for each GHMC circle will be formed and officials will also be appointed to maintain the inflows and outflow of water bodies. Another major measure that will be taken up is the deployment of mobile monsoon teams and static labour teams. While the static teams will be stationed at strategic locations to drain out rainwater immediately, the mobile monsoon teams will go around localities attending to rain-related complaints.

The teams will be provided with vehicles and the machinery that is required to restore the situation to normalcy after intense spells of rain by pumping out water, clearing catch pits, clogged drains, uprooted trees, tangled wires, etc. “Water pumps, crowbars, tree cutters and other equipment will be provided to monsoon teams along with safety gear,” a GHMC official said.

Another measure that will be initiated by the civic body to safeguard the lives of people and property is the demolition of dilapidated structures. Recently the Town Planning wing of the civic body instructed its deputy city planners and assistant city planners to take necessary action immediately against dilapidated buildings and submit a compliance report.

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Author: Howard Caldwell