Musi not game for concretisation

Hyderabad: Emerging as a global city, Hyderabad has its natural water bodies under undue pressure due to unplanned urbanisation.

The Musi river, bearing the brunt of it, has become a receptacle for untreated domestic and industrial wastes with 350 to 400 MLD (million litres a day) of polluted water and sewage originating from Hyderabad and Secunderabad flowing into the most neglected 32 kilometer river stretch passing through the city. The State government, which is firm on transforming it into a global attraction, has rightly planned to spend over Rs 3000 crore in three phases for development and clean-up of Musi as part of a major project sought to be implemented in three phases.

But the planners have to bear in mind that any further concretisation, as part of the project, may spell doom and disaster. Encroachments all along the river course needs immediate attention, while the catchment area of the river, the water body itself as well as the drainage system which carries the flood flow during monsoons and city sewage for rest of the year have to be taken care of as part of a fresh initiative, if not as part of the current project.

The river that originates in Anantagiri Hills near Vikarabad some 90 km west of Hyderabad, is flanked by many majestic monuments built by Nizam. Building a world class city would in fact be an incomplete mission without beautification of Musi. The river that appears to be dying with the sources of inflow drying up year after year, can unleash its fury any time wreaking havoc on the city as it happened with Adyar flood in Chennai that took a heavy toll in November last year.

Hyderabad witnessed disastrous floods killing 15,000 people with Musi in spate in 1908, following 17 inches of rainfall on a single day. What Musi river needs at this juncture, for revival of its old glory is only a landmark environmental initiative.