Hyderabad: Eight months on, Telangana government's ambitious Strategic Nala Development Programme (SNDP) is yet to see the light of the day.

On November 2 last year, Telangana government had announced to establish SNDP, a dedicated new project wing to plan, develop, and maintain a comprehensive stormwater drainage/nala system in Hyderabad. It ought to be an exclusive wing within the GHMC with the overall objective of mitigating the adversities of heavy rains/urban floods in the future.

This decision was taken after the devastating floods in Hyderabad on October 13, 2020. It was one of the worst natural calamities in the last eight decades. Several localities were inundated and the floods affected more than ten lakh families. Of which about one lakh families were severely affected with extensive damage caused to the properties. Many localities experienced a complete shutdown for more than a week.

Cut to July 2021, it has been a month since the monsoon arrived in Telangana. As per the annual report of the Municipal Administration & Urban Development 2020­-21 the Strategic Nala Development Programme (SNDP) is still at the planning stage and the feasibility report has been completed. The report was released by the Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development KT Rama Rao on Friday.

The government has sanctioned Rs 858 Crores for the development of Nala Network for high priority in the first phase.

"Feasibility report of the entire Hyderabad Urban agglomeration is prepared which includes an assessment of the total project cost of the works identified for immediate implementation based on high deficiency / non-availability of drain network, inundation points, number properties affected," the report said.

The report noted that it is evident from recent floods that the existing drainage system is not in a position to take the load of stormwater runoff and needs a practical and innovative solution to overcome the problem; practicality and innovativeness in terms of approach as well as financial resource mobilization.

"An innovative approach is more important to solve the problem of flooding rather than a conventional textbook type approach which relies on established concepts and designs," the report said.

The feasibility report noted under SNDP, 1452 Square kilometer total area will be covered by six zones of GHMC, Cantonment Board, Osmania University and 26 Municipalities / Municipal Corporations around GHMC (within ORR). The length of the existing Nala is 260 km

To map out SNDP, several meetings were held with field staff (Assistant engineers, Deputy executive engineers, and Sanitation staff) and public representatives of such Zone in GHMC and each ULB in surrounding GHMC (within ORR) for identification of problem areas in terms of the extent of inundation, number of days of inundation, number of properties & households affected due to flooding and Reasons for inundation like missing drain links between water bodies, bottlenecks in the existing drainage system.

The report said the information so collected was mapped on the GIS platform and proposals have been prepared based on the adopted prioritization criteria.

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