Osman Nagar residents on tenterhooks

Rain spells trouble for residents near Shukur Sagar lake

A 5-foot high earthen wall stands between the waters of the Shukur Sagar lake and Fameena Bee’s house in Osman Nagar.

On nights when it rains, Fameena and her family get up and see outside their independent house before retreating inside.

“We bought the house in 2020 and within 60 days of our purchase, it got flooded. It’s the will of God. But our home has been wrecked and we don’t know what will happen this monsoon,” says the matriarch sitting outside her gaily painted house.

Rising water level

The lake water began rising in August of 2020 and a few houses on the edge of the lake got submerged.

As the monsoon intensified in September and October making it one of the wettest seasons in living memory, more houses got flooded and the residents had to evacuate and move to their friends and relatives’ places in the city.

A satellite image from November 2020 shows the full extent of the lake and the vast swathe of land where houses were submerged for months.

A police picket was posted near the sluice gate to prevent any mischief. A small channel dug on the other side of the hillock released some of the water, allowing the residents to return back and resume their lives.On the other side of the earthen wall, and still surrounded by water is the house of M.D. Mazher, a confectioner.

“I bought the plot of land with monthly instalments of ₹256 in 1993. I bought a car months before the flood. Now it is ruined. Everything in the house was wrecked,” says Mazher pointing to a white rusted car standing in the middle of the lake. Other houses in the same area have been bulldozed and share space with trees that once grew around the lake.

“We have been asked by Sabita Indira Reddy to lay this bund so that these houses are protected. This is 12-feet wide and stretches across 2.5 km,” says a civic contractor supervising the work being carried out with an earthmover and a road roller.

“There will be no road on this. It will be left like this. It was very deep when we started filling it two months ago,” says the supervisor.

Around the lake which looks like a bowl from the hillock with Katta Maisamma Temple, every stretch of road has a realtor’s office. But after the big flood of 2020, most of the real estate offices in the area closed. But for the residents who bought houses sold by realtors, every spell of rain sounds like a knock on the door.

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