Hyderabad, A World-Class City?

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It’s been more than 2 years KCR sworn in as CM. Where is the world-class city KCR promised? Is Hyderabad really going in that direction?

In September, Hyderabad witnessed heavy rainfall that submerged low-lying areas and left many roads in the city inundated. Many frustrated Hyderabadis were stuck in long traffic jams as roads remained waterlogged and the city came to a complete standstill.

Four people were killed in Ramanthapur, after the wall of a building collapsed on them due to the rains, while another three persons were killed when their roof collapsed in Bholakpur. Several others were reportedly injured in incidents across the city as the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) evacuated people living in dilapidated structures.

As the water receded, it seemed evident that the city’s infrastructure was crumbling. The illustration of which is perhaps this: a giant, gaping hole in NTR Marg as the road caved in.

 

The pollution in water bodies also became evident, as toxic froth, many metres high, overflowed onto the road at Liberty and Allwyn Colony.

The rains have effectively exposed the bad shape of the city’s roads and public spaces.

The ongoing work for the Hyderabad Metro Rail is not of much help either. Many roads have been narrowed down and cordoned off for construction.The city police on Monday imposed traffic restrictions for 30 days from October 11 to November 10 and plans to set up permanent barricades at the Jubilee Hills metro station.

In a press release, the police said that for the next one month, vehicles moving in some of the most dense areas like Madhapur, Jubilee Hills checkpost, KBR Park and Panjagutta would have to take a diversion. This is expected to only increase the pressure on the roads.

On the first day of his government, after taking over the newly formed state of Telangana, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao promised to make Hyderabad a ‘world class city’ by developing infrastructure to meet the requirements till 2050.

However, two years on, the city seems to only be going downhill.

Ever since the rains, municipal administration minister K T Rama Rao has been on the receiving end of multiple complaints from across the city on social media and has promised to look into it.Following a review meeting, the government is now planning a ‘white topping’ of city roads near Panjagutta and Nagarjuna circle, which converts an existing asphalt road with a layer of Portland cement concrete.

The government also went on a demolition spree to clear the city of encroachments among drains.

Another serious problem the city faces, is the dust from the crumbling asphalt that is being kicked around by zooming vehicles.

According to reports, some areas in the city recorded about 60.9 microgram of dust particles per metre cube in the air, and the weather reporting apps recorded a visibility of just 50% on some days.

The Hyderabad Urban Lab (HUL) is an experimental organization in the city, which attempts to develop solutions to the challenges of contemporary urbanization.

“There are three things to consider. The short-term plan, the medium-term plan and the long term plan,” says Anant Maringanti, the executive director of HUL.

“We do not have any clarity on where we want the city to be in another 20 to 30 years. We do not take the voices of many demographics into account. The stakeholders in the city’s traffic today are real estate ventures and the automobile industry. It is their urgency to make money that is shaping the city,” he adds.

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