Hyderabad: The Telangana minister for municipal administration, K.T Rama Rao, on 18 August announced that a special drive would be conducted for a month in Warangal to remove all encroachments of drains. The minister has appointed a committee to identify encroachments on floodwater, drainage, and sewerage canals and remove them.
He also announced funds worth Rs. 25 crore to restore the roads and other infrastructure that had been damaged due to the heavy rains and floods. He said more funds would be released, if required, after the officials concerned make estimates on the damage.
KRT, along with other ministers and public representatives, visited Warangal and held a review meeting with the officials at the NIT campus. “While visiting the city, people unanimously told us that it was due to encroachments of drains that prevented the floodwater from going out and it resulted in inundation of roads and flooding of residential areas. There are several illegal encroachments of drains in the city. They have to be removed immediately. There will not be any compromise on this issue. There will not be any political pressure on the matter,” KTR said.
He asked officials to bring heavy machinery and demolish major constructions. Start removing the illegal encroachments which have already been identified, he said. “Examine if the water flow into drains is being obstructed. We are appointing a district task force team under the leadership of the collector to identify and remove illegal encroachments of drains. The principal secretary (MA) and MAUD commissioner will monitor the works,” he added.
KTR said all illegal encroachments should be removed within a month. “If they are illegal encroachments, remove them. If they happen to be houses of the poor, assure them that 2 BHK houses will be constructed and given to them as compensation. If the encroachment is registered, pay them the compensation. In any case, remove all the encroachments of drains, construct retaining walls after so that there will not be any encroachments in the future. Remove silt from the aqua duct canal of SRSP canal,” KTR told the officials.
The minister said that encroachments of drains in Warangal are nothing new. In the past, houses were not constructed properly and roads were not laid well. This will not be the case from now and everything will be done properly, he said. “We have brought in the New Municipal Act to ensure proper development of the cities. Along with this, a new master plan is prepared for Warangal city. Henceforth, constructions in Warangal should be done in tune with the new Act, policies, and plans. The development in the city should take place in a planned manner but not in a haphazard way,” KTR explained.
Chief Minister KCR has a special affection for Warangal, KTR claimed, adding he had instructed that relief work should start immediately and not a single life should be lost. Based on the CM’s instructions, 20 relief camps were set up in Warangal and 4,500 people from the low-lying areas were shifted to these camps. Disaster Response Force has been deputed from Hyderabad to Warangal with boats and other rescue equipment, he said.
“Warangal’s population has reached 11 lakh now. The population may increase further in the future and employees and staff should be increased based on the growth of the population. Mechanization of sanitary works is necessary. Use sweeping machines in the city,” KTR said.
He added, “Officials should feel that it is their primary duty to restore the infrastructure and provide relief to the people whose dwellings have been submerged. Supply essential commodities to the displaced people. Officials and public representatives should take part in the programme. Nobody should suffer. The weather forecast says there may be heavy rains in the next few days. Take all the preventive measures. Be on high alert as far as low-lying areas are concerned and evict people living in dilapidated houses. Keep an eye on the buildings which are under construction,” KTR told the officials.