Hyderabad: The closure of Lower Tank Bund Road, initially intended to alleviate traffic congestion, has taken an unforeseen turn over the past two months. What was meant to ease vehicular movement has inadvertently transformed the road into an unexpected hub for garbage sorting and vehicle parking, raising concerns and prompting a call for reassessment.
Sanitation workers, facing financial constraints from traditional waste collection methods, have turned to the empty road for segregating recyclables.
One worker explained, “We do not earn much by collecting garbage from door-to-door and transporting it. To earn extra cash, we separate cardboard and tins from the garbage which we can sell. But we have to do that on the road.”
Garbage sorting done on road
The Secondary Collection and Transportation Point (SCTP), designed for waste management, lacks the space needed for sorting activities, compelling garbage collectors to use the road instead.
The once-functional lane now resembles a chaotic wasteland, with waste scattered and black trash bags piled against walls. Concerns about hygiene and aesthetics arise, prompting a hotel staff member adjacent to the SCTP to express, “Having a garbage dumping yard beside the hotel is not good for business. We just wish that the vans are not parked outside and roads are cleaned regularly.”
Closure impacting traffic to Ranigunj
At the other end, towards the Telugu Talli flyover, the lane serves as an impromptu parking space for four-wheelers, exacerbated by non-functional street lights during the night.
Traffic authorities defend the diversions, aiming to eliminate signal wait times for motorists. However, road safety advocates like Hyderabad citizen Advait point out hindrances caused by barricades, impacting traffic flow from Steel Bridge to Ranigunj.
Advait states, “While the free right for those coming from the Telugu Talli flyover is helpful, barricades at the lower tank bund are causing a hindrance to motorists travelling from Steel Bridge towards Ranigunj.”
Instances of fines imposed on garbage van drivers for removing barricades further highlight the ambiguity surrounding the road’s usage and diversions.
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) officials acknowledged the challenges and offered insight into the situation. GHMC spokesperson, Priya Reddy, comments, “We are aware of the unintended consequences and are working to find a balanced solution. Our priority is to ensure both traffic management and waste collection align effectively.”
However, finding this balance remains a complex challenge. Advait concluded, “The unintended consequences of Lower Tank Bund Road’s closure have led to its transformation into an unconventional space for garbage sorting and parking. The clash between the objectives of easing traffic and the resulting challenges calls for a reassessment of the road management strategies to strike a balance between convenience and unintended disruptions.”