Meera Jasmin

Flood Relief in Hyderabad: Chanderghat and Kompally

Floods in 2019 and 2020 a history of Hyderabad

Hyderabad is a city which had its requirement for water being assured through the number of lakes and tanks inside and around Hyderabad. Hussainsagar lake in Hyderabad was the city’s main drinking water source till the early part of the last century, once the city started growing rapidly this was one of the several hundreds of lake that were in that region. In less than the century the city has expanded from a mere 55 sq. km to 625 sq. km under the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). The jurisdiction of Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) spreads over an area of 7,257 sq. km and covers parts of a few neighbouring districts as well and had 2,800 lakes as per an estimate in 2017.

After the floods in 1908 in Hyderabad, two big reservoirs of Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar were built on the periphery of the city to regulate water flow from Musi and its tributary Esa, but since then the rivers are nowhere to be seen. A number of factors played a role in drying up of these sources of water ranging from discharge of sewage and industrial effluents, encroachments and decades of neglect dried up these sources. Most of the former waterways are now open sewers, but on October 13, the river was breathed back to life after the record downpour. A number of low lying localities and colonies that were built on the lake beds and nalas were completely submerged in no time, a number of days later these hundreds of these colonies were still underwater. There were others where houses collapsed, filled with mud and sand, there was no access to potable water. As many as 33 lives have been lost to heavy rains and floods in the city, with the GHMC estimating that at least 37,409 families have been affected. The Municipal Administration minister has pegged the city’s losses at Rs. 670 Crore.

Situation of the areas where ration distribution was carried out

Two of such areas that were inundated were Chanderghat in the centre of the city, which has a total population of 300, 00. The second towards the outskirts is Kompally 3, 957 families. This year because of the pandemic income of most daily wage labourers, sanitation workers and multiple families had stopped completely. A number of people weren’t able to get ration either. With the floods a ration that was stored, potable water and personal belongings were lost. Access to rations and potable water was completely cut off due to the floods.



Ration Distribution by Human Rights Law Network and Mahindra Logistics Limited

Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), Hyderabad organised a flood relief camp at two locations in Chanderghat and at Kompally, we distributed ration packets to a total of 100 people, 50 people in both locations. The flood relief programme this year was supported by Mahindra Logistics Limited under their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative.

On the 3rd of November members of Human Rights Law Network in Hyderabad and volunteers bought the material and made individual packets to be distributed. Each individual packet consisted of the following:

Components of the Ration Kit

5 Kg Rice,   1 L Oil,   ½ Kg Dal,   1 Kg Sugar,   100g Tea Leaves,   1Kg Salt,
250g Turmeric Powder,   1/2 Kg Chilli Powder,   2Kg Wheat Flour,   1 Soap (Dettol), 1 Soap (for washing clothes)


Distribution

On the morning of the 4th of November 2020 the team left for Chnderghat with 50 packets of ration for distribution. They also took along masks for those who didn’t have masks. The team was already in touch with local volunteers in the area who had informed the people in the area about the distribution. So as soon as the team reached the location they reached near the truck for distribution. The HRLN team reached the location and distributed the ration packets and masks to people who were there. By about 11:00 the ration distribution was completed.


After this the team moved towards Kompally which is to the outskirts of the city, with all the packets that was transported to Kompally. The situation in Kompally was quite bad as evident from the pictures below, these are pictures taken in the last week of October 2020. The team also distributed ration packets and masks to 50 families in Kompally in the evening. The distribution was completed by late evening.



The team had made an assessment of the kind and nature of things required for people affected by floods and through information from grassroots volunteers identified the areas where there was the highest need for assistance. After which goods were procured and distribution was carried out in both the areas identified. Through this distribution we were able to provide assistance to the most marginalised in the city, disabled persons, children, women, sanitation workers and people from a range of marginalisations who were ignored by a number of government schemes.