The arrival of monsoons is characterised by two features in Tirupati. While the first one transforms the temple city into an idyllic setting with resurgence of the dormant waterfalls and springs from the Tirumala hills, the other paints a gloomy picture with severe waterlogging in the low-lying areas and also on major thoroughfares.
Recent summer showers, which threw life out of gear, prompted the municipal officials to revise their strategy in dealing with the forthcoming monsoons. They are now looking at a long-term solution to deal with waterlogging issues and will be devising an integrated plan to address the issues in the existing underground drainage system.
Every year during monsoons, several low-lying areas and their interior colonies, particularly those downhill to Malvadigundam and Kapilatheertam, are prone to severe inundation. Though the problem was addressed at Navodaya Nagar, Kothapalli and Subash Nagar with the construction of three major drains, areas such as Lakshmipuram, Autonagar, Gayatri Nagar, Jeevakona, Yashoda Nagar, Siva Jyothi Nagar, and Pulavanikunta still face an uncertain future.
Besides this, water stagnates during heavy rains in Sri Govindaraja Swamy choultries, causing major inconvenience to devotees seeking accommodation. The railway under bridges, one near the East police station and other in the West Curch area, are also inundated with rain water, causing motorists to take long detours to reach their destinations.
A senior municipal official told The Hindu that they had desilted major drains incorporating few structural changes to them. “Though this would address the issue to a major extent, there is still so much to be done. During recent rains, we have identified several black spots across the city. While some problems were due to the presence of old cross bunds, others have been linked to the incessant dumping of waste into the sewers and lack of drainage system in several non-layout areas, on the outskirts of the city, which arose due to the merging of panchayats,” he added.
Waste clogging drains
The officials further stressed on the need for conducting awareness programmes so as to prevent people from discarding waste into the underground drainage systems. The brief showers last week resulted in drains overflowing in several areas, with Madhura Nagar being the worst affected.
Municipal officials working to restore normalcy in the area identified that the drain had several clogs, owing to the waste disposal by the general public. Scores of plastic bottles, polyethylene covers and other items were removed to clear the sewage line.
In respect of the newly merged panchayats such as M.R.Palle and Thimminaidupalem, the officials have drawn proposals to construct an underground drainage system and are awaiting approval from authorities.
Officials are also working out a permanent solution for waterlogging conditions at the two railway under bridges in the city. Currently, motor pumps are used to pump out water. Higher capacity motors would be used for faster operation to ensure that there is no hindrance to traffic. Issues like lack of storm water drains would be addressed under the integrated plan.