Man washed away in Hyderabad lake, second incident in 4 days

Naveen, who was on a two-wheeler, lost balance and slipped into the drain whose water was gushing across the street.

Hyderabad: After a 20-hour-long search, rescue workers on Monday retrieved the body of a man who has swept away in Saroornagar lake here on Sunday evening.

Personnel from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) pulled out the body of electrician Naveen Kumar (45), who fell into an overflowing drain and was washed away into the lake.

Naveen, who was on a two-wheeler, lost balance and slipped into the drain whose water was gushing across the street.

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The Disaster Relief Force of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) had launched a rescue operation last night but it proved futile. The search operation was called off around 3 a.m. and was resumed after three hours with NDRF personnel also joining in.

Police said the drain was overflowing following rains over the last few days. The flow of water was also affected by encroachments.

This was the second such incident in Hyderabad in four days. A 12-year-old girl while riding a bicycle fell into an open drain in Neredmet on September 17. Her body was recovered from the Banda Cheruvu lake the next day.

With the two incidents triggering a public outcry, the state government announced on Monday that it will cap open drains in the city at a cost of Rs 300 crore.

Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development K. T. Rama Rao stated that GHMC will soon commence capping works to avoid any untoward incidents.

These capping works will be executed on drains which are less than two meters wide. Instructions have been issued to officials to come up with an action plan to complete the works in time.

“Administrative sanction for Rs 300 crore will be accorded shortly to execute the works,” the minister said.

The minister stated that most of the drains, which are less than two meters wide, are located in densely populated areas and asked the officials to take all the precautions to avoid any untoward incidents.

At drains, which are more than two meters wide and where the execution of capping works was not feasible, the minister directed officials to take up fencing works as per National Green Tribunal and Supreme Court guidelines.

At a meeting with top officials, KTR reviewed the situation created by the impact of heavy rains in Hyderabad and other urban areas.

He asked the officials to take all necessary precautions and also step up relief measures where required.

With more rains expected in the next two weeks, the minister asked the senior officials to cancel the leaves of all the employees and directed them to stay put on alert and on the field. He asked the officials to conduct surprise inspections from time to time.

The officials informed KTR that Hyderabad has received heavy rainfall of 54 cm in the last 10 days. They also mentioned that such heavy rains lashed the city within a few hours leading to waterlogging in low lying areas.

The minister instructed the officials to identify and demolish the buildings which are on the verge of collapsing. He also asked the officials to set up teams in the water logging areas and monitor the situation.

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