After heavy rains and flash floods in Hyderabad last week, the civic body is now tasked with the removal of over 20,000 tonne of garbage. During an ongoing special monsoon sanitation drive, sanitation workers have shifted 10,386 tonne of garbage in the last four days.
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation(GHMC) expects the special drive to continue for another few days.
According to the civic body, the special drive was taken up in the worst affected localities in LB Nagar, Charminar, Khairatabad, Serilingampally, Kukatpally, and Secunderabad zones, is progressing even as de-watering activities continue in several colonies.
Low-lying areas across the city are most affected as residential localities witness massive heaps of waste. Of the total waste collected, around 5885 tonne have been lifted from the Charminar zone in the last four days, followed by the Khairatabad zone and LB Nagar zone.
Localities in and around Malakpet, Santoshnagar, Chandrayangutta, Charminar, Falaknuma, and Rajendra Nagar in the Charminar zone had reported severe waterlogging and damage to property.
Gurram Cheruvu and Palle Cheruvu, in Chandrayangutta and Rajendranagar, respectively, were the two lakes that overflowed submerging several colonies in the vicinity after a breach of the bund.
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So far, the civic body has identified 9163 garbage heaps piled up across these zones. Some of the worst flood-affected localities like Hafeez Baba Nagar, Al-Jubail colony, and other colonies around Gurram Cheruvu in Balapur, Palle Cheruvu in Bandlaguda, Appa Cheruvu in Rajendranagar have all generated tonnes of garbage waste.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, the GHMC’s additional commissioner (Sanitation) P S Rahul Raj said over 1400-strong staff are on the ground tasked with the ongoing special sanitation drive.
“So far we have covered 80 to 90 percent colonies. But there are many low-lying areas with no sufficient drainage. In those areas, we need to pump out the water first and then take up sludge removal works. In another two days, we expect to cover all colonies,” said the official.
“Some of the colonies are inaccessible to our machinery and vehicles due to narrow lanes. If it does not rain further, we can finish in another two days. The total waste generated will be more than 20,000 tonne.”
However, he feels the removal of sludge, garbage and other household stuff damaged in the floods will be an ongoing exercise for some time. “Many people who left their homes for safer places will return home. Whatever is damaged and unusable will be thrown on the roads. So we are expecting more waste.”
While the amount of waste generated post-floods is unprecedented and unexpected, the GHMC is fully capable of processing and disposing of the same, said the additional commissioner.
“The waste we have is much more than what we expected. We are getting mixed waste, from garbage, sludge, and old beds and furniture, etc. We have our garbage processing plant and construction and demolition(C&D) waste processing plants. The collection, shifting, and processing works are going on day and night,” he said.
The Corporation has also been at the receiving end of criticism over the dumping of C&D waste as well as garbage by the side of several road stretches. He said the priority is the removal of waste from colonies.
“At some places, instead of doing full trips to transfer stations and wasting time on transport, our people are dumping waste near to roads. There is a need to clear the garbage and sludge from colonies, and that is our priority. This helps to ease queueing at transfer stations as well,” he added. “Also, C&D waste needs to be separated.”
The debris from demolition is being shifted to Jeedimetla and Fathullaguda C&D debris processing plants, and other wastes are shifted to the municipal dump yard at Jawaharnagar.
The GHMC has additionally employed 72 earthmovers, 55 mini-tippers, 36 trucks (6-tonners), 110 trucks (10-tonner), and four tractors for the special sanitation drive.