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Dug-up roads, dust and sewage waste leave Hyderabad residents gasping for fresh air

© Provided by The Rahnuma Daily

Mohammad Ziah, a 50-year-old businessman who runs his stationary shop in Azampura circle – one of Hyderabad’s old suburbs – is a worried man.
Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) has been laying pipelines in the area for the past two months, and the ongoing work has become a problem for the residents and shop owners in the vicinity.
“For two months, the work has been going on, they kept it open even after laying the pipeline, for nearly two weeks. After complaining constantly, they recently covered the dug-up roads, however, just by putting sand. Now all the dust is coming inside houses and shops, making it difficult to even sit outside. There is no end to these problems it seems,” says Ziah.

For the past two weeks, he has been suffering from cough and breathing problem, as he already has a history of dust allergy.
For Ziah, health is not the only issue as he has other problems to contend with.
“I have to spend Rs.400 to repair my Xerox machine and printer almost every alternate day. The machine stops working every now and then, and the person who comes for repair says that it is getting all dusty in different parts of the machines. Due to this dust, no customers are coming to the shops, but I have to bear this extra expense also. I have been struggling to breathe some fresh air, all I am breathing is this dust,” he claims.
Syed Irfan, a 38-year-old resident of Azampura colony, says thad, dusty roads have made his commuting worse.
“They have not levelled the road properly after laying the pipelines. We have been complaining about this but there is no response from anywhere. Due to this bad road near my house, I have no option but to use it to go for work. This is the quality of their work. Are they waiting for a fatal accident to repair the roads?” he wonders.
Most of the shops in the Azampura circle have to put up a plastic curtain to avoid the dust from entering their shop, however, that is also not much of a help, say the shop owners in the area.
“I had to close the shop for nearly a week because it was getting impossible to sit inside the shop. I run typing classes, and right now none of the students are coming for classes due to this problem. Not just this, due to the metro rail work, they closed the road near Chaderghat area at night, and all the traffic comes to this road, adding to our woes,” says Ravinder Reddy, who runs Vishnu Typing classes in that area.
“As if the potholed roads and ongoing metro construction in Hyderabad weren’t bad enough, they have started digging up more roads,” he added.

When The News Minute contacted the HMWSSB officials, they informed that the work is going on and the roads will be laid soon.
HMWSSB, with the permission of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), will reportedly be digging 3,572 km of road across the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad in the next few months.
Out of this, 2,700 km of roads will be dug up by the water board to lay pipelines, while 588 km will be dug up by Reliance to lay optic fibre cables.
Nearly 84 km will be dug up for power lines, 40 km will be used by L&T for CCTV cameras under the ‘Smart City Project’, while around 18 km will be dug up by BSNL for laying telephone cables.
GHMC Commissioner Janardhan Reddy had earlier called the digging ‘unavoidable’, as all the projects involved are important infrastructure works.
Due to bad roads, the residents say that vehicles get stuck for hours just to cross a distance of two kilometres.

Besides the dust, the poor sewage and drainage system has become another headache for the people.
“Not just the dust, the manholes in this area are always choked, we have to get it cleaned all the time. From Azampura circle to Lorry Kanta road, HMWSSB has dug up all the manholes to clear the choked sewage lines, leaving all the waste on the road. There is a menace of mosquitoes as a result and bad smell all over the house and shops,” says Irfan.
He also claims that the sewage waste later dries up and lies on the road.
“The government talks about free wi-fi and IT hub but fails to provide basic amenities to its citizens. When we ask them to clear the sewage waste from the road, they always give excuses that they will come in one hour and clear the road, but never do anything. We have given so many complaints to the water board about this. We have to walk on these roads and the smell makes it difficult to commute,” says another resident.

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