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When the Musi burst at its seams

When the Musi burst at its seams
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When people in the city gave up on the rains, old timers said that one cannot keep showers and the month of September away and so it did rain in the last two weeks.

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107th anniversary of Hyderabad’s deluge

When people in the city gave up on the rains, old timers said that one cannot keep showers and the month of September away and so it did rain in the last two weeks.

The month of September is etched in the memories of people as the Musi broke its banks and inundated the city and changed the course of city’s development.

It is on September 28, 1908, a harmless drizzle turned into a cloudburst and in a span of few hours water levels rose to above 10 feet and touched the Afzal Bridge along Kosalwadi, the place where Osmania General Hospital now stands.

More than 50 colonies were swept away by the floods affecting more than 2 lakh people. More than 50,000 people died and the trail of destruction took a toll on the administration. The City Improvement Board (CIB) was formed in 1912 to reconstruct the city.

Houses were washed away and people were left homeless. The worst affected were residents of Kosalwadi and Ghansi Bazaar with more than 4,000 people losing their lives in the deluge.

The Musi today is a pale shadow of its former self as the river’s course is interrupted by encroachments.The river originates in Anantagiri Hills near Vikarabad, 90 kms to the west of Hyderabad and flows East and joins the Krishna River at Vadapally in Nalgonda district.

Today, the Musi is a trickle and untreated industrial waste is let into the water. The 1908 flood led to the construction of water sources-Osmansagar and Himayatsagar.

Water Board officials say that if we have a season of good rainfall and if the two reservoirs fill up, it could serve the city with water for three years.

The ‘Great Musi Flood’ did cause a great deal of destruction but also led to planned development of the city.

By:T P Venu

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