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Andhra Pradesh - Hyderabad Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Where development takes a backseat

By Dennis Marcus Mathew



SYMBOL OF NEGLECT: The condition of the road at Balram Nagar near Safilguda. — Photo: P. V. Sivakumar

HYDERABAD, MAY 24. Development, for the residents of Balram Nagar in Safilguda, always comes with a twist. Perhaps, that is why the most basic of amenities like drinking water and good roads are rarities for this quiet colony, with just above 500 residents.

Take the case of P.O. Karunakaran, a long-time resident here, who paid Rs. 3,000 (Receipt No. 26190, Serial No. 1878 in the register of Malkajgiri Municipality) in 1994 for a domestic water connection. Till date, his house (BN-436) does not have a water connection. When other residents paid Rs. 5,000 each under the municipality's `Own Your Tap' scheme, the cases of Mr. Karunakaran and those who paid along with him, were strangely overlooked.

Mr. Karunakaran later met the authorities, who admitted their mistake and offered connection when a water tank in Chanakyapuri would be ready. The pipeline was laid and the residents dug tanks too, but water still comes for a price from tankers and from luckier neighbours who get water once in six days, throughout the year.

Cantonment MLA, G. Sayanna, has promised "immediate action" when the issue was brought to his notice after his recent election to the Assembly.

Meanwhile, residents point out that acute shortage of water is not the only problem besieging the colony. The roads are so embellished with potholes that two-wheeler drivers need to double up as acrobats here. This, after the residents had collected Rs. 8 lakhs and handed it over to the officials for roads and drainage as part of Janmabhoomi.

"The money we gave was spent for the drainage. The roads should have been built with the Government's share, which was never done," says A.P. Sukumaran, who adds that when it rains, people have to wade through the inundated roads. The yawning potholes ensure that water does not flow through the drain.

P.M. Sukumaran, a member of the residents welfare association, points out another dilemma. "There is a blanket ban on registration of property here due to the full tank level restrictions laid during the development of the Safilguda Lake Park. Even after work on the park is over, the exact FTL boundaries have not been demarcated, and people cannot sell or buy any property here."

So much for a colony, which was in the forefront of people's initiatives for the municipality's garbage disposal scheme.

(Readers are welcome to write about the civic problems in their areas to The City Editor, The Hindu, Begumpet, Hyderabad - 16 or e-mail to hydlife@thehindu.co.in).

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