Open plots filled with greasy water, portending a disease outbreak
Rain water mixed with leachate and sewage is the bounty several colonies in Dammaiguda municipality are blessed with whenever the skies open up.
On Monday, they woke up to streets-turned-streams, thickened by dark oil-like substance which floated on the water. As the day progressed, the colour of the water lightened to red-brown in which children frolicked, blissfully unaware of the consequences. Thousands of residents here were besieged not only by slimy water, but also by the all pervasive stench emanating from the dump yard at Jawaharnagar very close to the location, from where leachate entered the water giving it the colour and body.
“This is the story every time it rains, but the water is especially dark this time. We are apprehensive that it may pollute our ground water eventually,” said M. Balaram, resident of Anjanadri Nagar Colony.
Last year’s horror
It was first in 2016 when he saw the colony inundated. Flooding persisted for a whole fortnight then, he recalled. Last year during the October floods, rain water entered homes and damaged household goods and appliances. Residents had to climb to the higher floors to save themselves.
“This year too, water came up to waist level. We could not sleep the whole night and were prepared to leave if the situation worsened,” Mr. Balaram related, showing the rash that he developed on his hands after trying to work the manhole cover.
“I kept messaging the municipal authorities since 3.30 a.m., asking them to drain the water. They instead asked us to vacate homes and shift to safer locations immediately, as there was risk of lake breach,” said G. Chandramohan, president of the Sri Sai Enclave.
The scourge of leachate mixed water flowing from Dammaiguda Lake torments several localities here, including MLR Colony, PS Rao Colony, Anjanadri Colony, LSR Colony, VSN Homes, Satyanarayana Colony, and Karmika Nagar. All the open plots in these localities are filled with greasy water, portending a disease outbreak.
Residents allege that the management of the Jawahar Nagar dump site takes cover under rain to let the leachate from Nallacheruvu downstream.
“They create a breach in Nallacheruvu to let the polluted water downstream, which enters Dammaiguda Lake. In order to divert the flood water, residents of an unauthorised settlement close by create a breach in the bund of the Dammaiguda Lake which inundates our area,” alleged K.Srinivasa Sharma, an office-bearer of the newly elected Anjanadri Nagar Colony Welfare Association.
Whether breached or not, it is everybody’s knowledge that the leachate originating from the legacy dump at the Jawahar Nagar facility flows down to Nallacheruvu, and during rains, the water swells in volume, and pollutes Dammaiguda Lake downstream. Adding to the existing woes is the increasing mass of sewage from colonies burgeoning all around, which is invariably dumped in the storm water drains.
“A proposal has been sanctioned for bigger pipelines six months ago. We request the authorities to begin the works as soon as possible,” Mr. Sharma said.
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