Tough action required to tackle monsoon havoc

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Many states in the country including Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are being pounded by unusually heavy rains. Politicians including the ruling party leaders might simply try to trivialise the issue saying if it does not rain during monsoon when will it rain.

Many states in the country including Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are being pounded by unusually heavy rains. Politicians including the ruling party leaders might simply try to trivialise the issue saying if it does not rain during monsoon when will it rain. But such an attitude does not serve any purpose.

One thing we need to clearly understand is that the kind of heavy rains we are witnessing does not occur normally. It certainly is the effect of climatic changes across the globe. Hence what is required is not trying to duck saying we cannot stop rains or it is but natural that rains come during this season or go round affected areas, repeating the assurance they give during every monsoon.

In Rajanna Sircilla, shopkeepers were seen selling clothes and garments which got damaged as water entered their shops for a discount of 50 to 60 percent. Even the newly constructed integrated District Collectorate Building had to face the wrath of heavy rains. The road in front of in and out gates was inundated by about two metres of water. That is the kind of engineering that had gone into the high technology construction.

Rains have been playing havoc with roads and water has been entering various colonies whether it be in Hyderabad or Karimnagar, Warangal or any other such districts in Telangana and agency areas of Visakhapatnam and West Godavari districts.

What is most important is not knee-jerk reaction like shifting people to safer places or visiting the colonies by ministers and giving some assurances which hardly get fulfilled. What is required is focus on improving civic amenities and remodelling the drainage system which can take care of 100 mm of rains per hour.

It is known fact that all lake beds and storm water drains have been occupied and houses have come up. Either they should be mercilessly razed or the real engineering talent should be shown to redesign the drainage system to see that such areas do not get inundated.

It makes no sense giving instructions to officials by Mayor or ministers to take steps to prevent such situation in future because these are recurring problems every year. Instead a proper action plan to clean the drains properly and regularly should be taken up.

Similarly, de-siltation of drains during summer much ahead of monsoon should be completed, de-weeding of lakes should also be taken up so that the water reservoirs can be well maintained. Measures to ensure that no untreated sewage gets into the lakes should be given top priority.

The municipalities should see that rainwater mixed with sewage does not enter the houses. All manholes should be properly covered and should be well maintained so that rainwater can find an easy and smooth exit. The political executive both at the local level and at the level of state governments should have proper time-bound action plan with clear cut allocation of money and take up the works in a phased manner.

They should also focus on haphazard construction activities like colonies coming up without proper planning. Governments should learn to be tough where necessary not always think in terms of losing votes or buckle under pressure of certain sections. Till such an attitudinal change takes place, citizens should resign themselves to the fact that things will not change and learn to have a live-in relationship with all these problems.

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