HYDERABAD: In face of heavy rains in Hyderabad, the National Disaster Response Force has been put on alert for any rescue that might be required Rains have been on since last night and a recurrence could lead to a dangerous situation, B Janardhan, the commissioner of the city’s civic body, has written to the NDRF commandant in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Last night the city had 106 mm to 164 mm rains in a span of two hours. Roads turned into rivers, and colonies turned into lakes through which people were forced to navigate. Several areas in the city — especially Allwyn Colony in Kukatpally, Balanagar, Nizampet, Mayur Marg in Begumpet — were flooded. People were struggling, unable to come out of homes. Without electricity and safe water, they were unable to cook. On the roads, cars were seen standing half-submerged. What started as a small pothole on the arterial NTR Marg, opposite NTR Gardens, turned into a huge crater within a couple of hours. In Ranga Reddy district, all schools were ordered to shut down. In Hyderabad, the few schools that were open, sent children home early. ”Hyderabad can take 2cm rain in an hour, but if that is increased several times, we cannot be prepared for it. We can only do damage mitigation, relief and rescue,” Mr Reddy told NDTV. Regarding the pothole, the city’s Water Supply and Sewerage Board chief Dana Kishore said the drain underneath was designed to take 200 million litres water a day. But last night’s rains had pushed meant it had to handle as much as 400 MLD, which led to the breach. ”We are diverting the drain waters in five other directions to do damage control,” he said. Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav, who visited several low-lying areas, said encroachments on drains were a huge issue. There are nearly 28,000 illegal structures on 390 km of drain network across Hyderabad.
”Moving these people is very difficult politically and legally. There will be opposition from people who do politics. Also they go to court and get a stay. So how do we move forward?” he asked. The state government is planning to shift the encroachers by offering them alternate accommodation as part of its double bedroom scheme.