Whether part of Andhra Pradesh or Telangana, Hyderabad's civic woes remain the same. The latest casualty of governance apathy in the city is Moti Yadav, a migrant labourer from Chhattisgarh who fell into a manhole in the Madhapur area and died last Saturday.

 

This tragic event comes not long after Telangana municipal affairs minister KT Ramarao (KTR) on February 18 announced a '100-day' action plan to make Hyderabad a most liveable place in India.

 

Underneath all the big talk of the “global city” lie uncovered manholes, potholed roads and live electric cables hanging everywhere, contributing to avoidable loss of life in Hyderabad.

 

This is not new for Hyderabad. During every rainy season, manholes become death traps. Last year at around the same time, a young couple travelling on a two-wheeler fell into a manhole.

 

The pregnant pillion rider Satyavati drowned in a matter of a few seconds. Similarly in 2014, while the state was celebrating Telangana's birth, 63-year-old Hemanth Kumar also fell into an uncovered manhole and lost his life.

 

“Amidst the chorus of making Hyderabad a 'global city', things such as manholes and potholes have become trivial issues. For the rulers, Hyderabad means investments. They don't care about the lives of people inhabiting the city,” says Shravan Dasoju, Congress party's chief spokesperson.

 

Incidentally, the municipal minister KTR holds two other key portfolios. For the last 10 days he has been travelling overseas (on work of course). He is quite possible overburdened.

 

Moti Yadav’s death is further proof of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and Hyderabad Water Board's lack of preparedness to meet the monsoon challenge.

 

Neither organisation is ready to take the blame for Yadav's death. The water board contends that its job ended with handing over newly constructed drainage lines and uncovered manholes to the municipal corporation.

Now, as monsoon rains are lashing the city, it is virtually impossible to identify the actual number of uncovered manholes and shut them

GHMC, for its part, claims that construction work was still going on under the supervision of the water board.

 

According to GHMC estimates, there are about 1.85 lakh manholes in Hyderabad of which 20,000 are uncovered.

 

“Had GHMC and the municipal minister are really serious about protecting the lives of people, they could have ensured covering of all the manholes in Hyderabad by now.

 

Now, as monsoon rains are lashing the city, it is virtually impossible to identify the actual number of uncovered manholes and shut them,” says a shopkeeper in the city's Dilsukhnagar area where a manhole lies uncovered for the last six months.