Authorities in Hyderabad have sought help of Army for possible rescue operations as heavy rains continued to lash the city and outskirts for a second consecutive day Thursday. With the met office forecasting more rains over next two days, a high alert was sounded in the city. The government declared a two-day holiday for all educational institutions while information technology companies were urged to provide a work from home’ option to the employees. Greater Hyderabad Mayor B. Rammohan said the help of Army was sought for rescue work in areas like Alwal, Nizampet and Begumpet where overflowing water bodies and open drains have inundated residential areas.
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has also sought assistance from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to undertake rescue and relief works. Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who is on a visit to Delhi, directed officials to be ready for any eventuality. He spoke to Municipal Administration ADevelopment Minister K T Rama Rao and top officials over phone to review the situation.
The chief minister asked the officials to shift people residing in low-lying areas to safer zones and take help from police, NDRF and Army. Rama Rao, who was monitoring situation from GHMC office, told reporters that they had contacted Army for undertaking rescue and relief works. He said NDRF, State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and Rapid Action Force (RAF) were positioned to take up rescue and relief works.
Rama Rao, who is also minister for information technology, said IT firms were requested to give ‘work from home’ option to their employees in view of the prevailing situation in the city and the forecast of more rains over next 48 hours.
Along with Rama Rao, Deputy Chief Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali, Home Minister N. Narasimha Reddy and top officials were monitoring the situation from control room at GHMC head office.
He said the chief minister directed ministers, MPs, MLAs and other public representatives to be available to citizens round the clock. With water level in Hussain Sagar lake in the heart of the city reaching full tank level and water being let out through a surplus drain, GHMC alerted people living in areas along this drain. All three parks surrounding the lake have been closed for public.
Rama Rao said the situation was being closely monitored. The government declared a holiday for all schools in GHMC limits on Friday and Saturday. Heavy rains on Wednesday claimed three lives in the city. More rains Thursday evening added to the woes of the people already marooned in the affected areas. In Bhandari Layout of Nizampet, several apartments remained inundated for a second day.
The incessant rains once again brought normal life to a standstill in the city. People returning home from offices were caught in traffic jams in almost all parts of Hyderabad and its twin Secunderabad.
Traffic came to a halt on major arterial roads due to overflowing storm water drains and sewerage manholes. The motorists were having a harrowing time due to bad condition of roads and ongoing work on Hyderabad Metro Project.
Earlier in the day, Rama Rao visited some affected areas in Begumpet and Nizampet. He assured people that modernization of storm water and sewerage systems will be taken up on a priority basis.