Hyderabad: Nine people, including two women and three children, were killed in incidents of wall collapse in Hyderabad as heavy rains lashed the city since Friday night, throwing normal life out of gear and inundating over 50 colonies, officials said.
Five people, including a woman, were killed when the compound wall of a factory fell on their huts in Balanagar area on the outskirts in the early hours of Saturday, police said. Three of the victims are labourers from Madhya Pradesh.
In another incident, four members of a family were killed when the wall of their house collapsed at Adityanagar in Hafeezpet. A woman, her two daughters and a son were asleep when the wall collapsed, a police officer said.
The incessant overnight rains inundated 53 residential colonies in different parts of the city. Residents spent sleepless night as water gushed into their houses, damaging their belongings.
Four students were injured when a wall collapsed and fell on a nearby school building in Balanagar area.
The government has announced Rs.1 lakh ex-gratia for the families of each of those killed in the two incidents.
The rains receded Saturday, providing some relief to the people in inundated areas.
Earlier, in the morning when many areas in the city were water-logged, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) commissioner Krishna Babu has appealed to people not to venture out of their houses unless it is unavoidable.
He told reporters that the GHMC emergency squads pumped out water from several areas which were inundated due to overnight rains. He said the GHMC had opened six control rooms to receive complaints of water-logging.
With heavy rains lashing several parts of Telangana and coastal Andhra regions since Friday, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy reviewed the situation at a high-level meeting in Hyderabad. He directed all district collectors to be on alert and take preventive measures to avert loss of lives and property.
The chief minister, who later visited some inundated areas in Khairatabad, voiced concern over the encroachments on water bodies, affecting the flow of storm water. People complained to him that despite repeated requests, the officials failed to redress their grievances about flooding of their colonies.
Normal life came to a standstill and traffic on main roads in Hyderabad was thrown out of gear as thoroughfares turned into cesspools. Overflowing manholes and the pits dug by various departments added to the woes of the commuters.
A car on one of the roads in the busy Kukatpally area was completely submerged in the water while a car and two bikes were washed away near Hitec City railway station.
Two to three feet water was seen in several houses in residential areas like Bowenpalli, Kukatpally, Rajendernagar, Dilsukhnagar, Saidabad, Uppal and Toli Chowki.
According to department of disaster management, Hyderabad received a rainfall of 15.2 cm between 8.30 p.m. Friday and 8.30 a.m. Saturday.
The heavy rains once again exposed the poor civic infrastructure in the city, causing severe hardship to people living in low-lying areas.
“We are facing this situation for the last three years and despite several representations, the municipal authorities failed to take any action,” said a woman, whose house in Uppal area came under water. With the met office forecasting more rains till Sunday, the residents of low-lying areas feared the worst.
The inundation reminded of the deluge of August 2000 when 24 cm rain had battered the city, killing 30 people and forcing civil authorities to seek the army’s help to rescue people stranded on roof-tops.
Legislator M. Shashidhar Reddy, who is vice-chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, said the drainage system in the city need to be improved. He said GHMC was not following the guidelines framed at the national level.
Municipal Administration Minister Mahidar Reddy however said modernisation of the drainage system in the city could not be taken up due to ongoing works for Hyderabad Metro Rail.