October 21, 2014
Today’s maximum temperature
is likely to be 33°C;
You are Here :
Make Hyderabad development sustainable
With a commercial outlook and an idea of taking maximum advantage of the city, the approach of modern planners is flawed, argues the writer
The growth of Hyderabad city has been haphazard for the last several decades. The recent heavy rains have only reinforced the fear that it is ill equipped to handle even a moderate rain. Then, one can imagine what kind of stress the city must have taken due to the incessant heavy rains that lashed us for the last one week.
Still, many parts of the city are reeling under the impact of the rains induced floods. Thousands dilapidated structures and homes were damaged beyond repair and thousands of people were rendered homeless. As I discussed in these pages recently the significance of urban areas or metro politan regions in the coming days, there is an urgent need to make the development of Hyderabad sustainable. Hyderabad, built by Quli Qutub Shahs in 1591 was a beautiful city that was supposed to be one of the best cities in the world. Subsequently, the city was development by the Nizams who presided over its destiny, till 1948. It is known to one and all as how the Sixth Nizam Mahabub Ali Pasha tackled the floods to Musi River in 1908.
"There is a vast difference between our approach and that of the Nizams towards the city. The Nizams never treated the city as their personal wealth"
For Hyderabad, two months, September and October seem to be fateful. If we observe carefully, it is during these months the city receives bountiful rains of floods of other calamities. Precisely, it is during this season, 107 years ago, the city witnessed devastating floods that pushed waters up to historic Charminar in the Old city. Then, the Sixth Nizam personally swung into action and supervised the relief and rescue operations that claimed thousands of lives and displaced close to 25,000 people. But, after the short-term measures, the Nizam also initiated a host of measures to protect the city from the ravage of floods. First, he built Himayatsagar and Osmansagar as balancing reservoirs to face any floods to Musi.
Next, he also dug up close to 50 major tanks and more than 300 smaller ponds around the city, to absorb the floods that may occur during the rainy season. The Nizam had the vision to foresee that Hyderabad, located on a hilly and upland area, is susceptible to floods as any small hindrance to the flow of water might create disturbance. Mir Mahabub Ali Pasha also called veteran civil engineer Sir Mokshagundam Vishveshwariah who was working as Diwan of Mysore kingdom to put in place a world-class drainage system in Hyderabad, which had a population of a few lakhs, by early ‘20s. Ironically, still the same drainage system is in use, even after our population has grown 50 folds. He also developed thousands of sq km of forests around the city.
Then, it is the time for us to introspect on what we have done to this city in the last six decades, since we took it over from the Nizams? Not much, if we were to give an honest answer. Till 1980s, the development of Hyderabad progressed on a slower pace. Since then, it went up on a multiplying effect, as huge influx of people from far and wide has made it an urban jungle.
There is a vast difference between our approach and that of the Nizams towards the city. The Nizams never treated the city as their personal wealth. In fact, they earmarked a portion of their personal lands, as surf-e-khas (private estate), around the city so that they would be never touched for his personal usage. Such was the integrity of the Nizams, who were despised as monarchs. But, our approach to the city development chiefly revolved around commercial lines. The way, we looked at this city itself was flawed. Instead, of what we can give to the city, our planners have always wanted to take maximum benefit out of it. We have created many institutions, Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority etc; Outer Ring Roads, International Airport, Special Economic Zones, industrial parks and what not?
Our entire approach is to make money while sun shines. If Nizams scrupulously avoided using the surf-e-khas lands, our democratically elected chief ministers sold government lands left, right and centre. Now, the urgent need is to have sustainable development of Hyderabad.
Otherwise, the future generations won’t forgive us.
The writer is a former MLC
- Chukka Ramaiah
Alarm bells for regional forces
10/21/2014 12:47:31 AM
Hudhud is turning point in disaster management
10/19/2014 1:40:57 AM
What’s special about Art@Telangana?
10/18/2014 12:50:40 AM
Urbanisation must be handled carefully
10/17/2014 12:16:35 AM
These Assembly elections are all about Modi
10/15/2014 12:40:07 AM
Make existing cities smart first
10/14/2014 12:17:47 AM
Let’s learn to celebrate our heroes
10/12/2014 1:20:41 AM
Bhagat’s ‘half girlfriend’ fully disappointing
10/11/2014 1:07:23 AM
Development not limited to cities alone in Gujarat
10/10/2014 1:55:14 AM
Sensible use of land can solve urban problems
10/8/2014 12:26:36 AM
Much more to Clean India than just sweeping
10/7/2014 12:45:30 AM
Lessons in cleanliness beyond photo-op
10/5/2014 1:16:50 AM
The whys and hows of induction
10/3/2014 1:54:42 AM
Sustainable urban transport system need of the hour
10/1/2014 1:57:33 AM
Jaya’s arrest wakeup call to corrupt politicians
9/30/2014 12:12:42 AM
Lessons in understanding science for public
9/28/2014 1:52:03 AM
Engineers’ Bill in dark
9/27/2014 1:58:11 AM
Human resource holds the key: Reflections
9/26/2014 1:41:08 AM
IT now ruling the roost in world
9/23/2014 11:31:41 PM
‘Roots of intolerance to hostile media’
9/23/2014 1:44:46 AM
Aam Aadmi Party slams Modi govt over hike in gas price
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today slammed BJP-led Narendra Modi government for increasing the price of nat...
10/18/2014 11:01:33 PM
Passengers escape unhurt after live wire falls on bus
The passengers of a Madurai-bound state-owned transport corporation bus had a miraculous escape afte...
10/18/2014 10:57:00 PM
Will ensure farmers get Minimum Support Price: Harish Rao
Telangana government today reasserted their commitment to give farmers the minimum support price(MSP...
10/18/2014 10:46:58 PM
Telangana IMA reaches out to AP in relief operations
Indian Medical Association Telangana wing has extended its hand of help to its AP counterpart in the...
10/18/2014 10:34:12 PM
Swetha Basu Prasad reacts on sex scandal
Mega survey in Telangana on Aug 19
‘Outside’ supporters pitch in for AAP
Surya turns Rowdy for Samantha
GHMC officers raid on Dadu’s
Set for a hat-trick
Ajith perfect for Dhoom 4
Vijaya prays for removal of hurdles to Telangana
Augmented reality technology at Indian luxury expo in city
Deepika demands Rs 2 crore for Pawan’s film
© 2013 Intercontinental Publications Pvt.Ltd