Hyderabad rains
Flood-affected residents search for their belongings in a flooded housing colony following heavy rains on the outskirts of Hyderabad on October 20, 2020. Image Credit: AFP

Hyderabad: Heavy rains continued to lash Hyderabad for the second consecutive day on Tuesday even as the state government asked the Army to be on standby to deal with any eventuality.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), monsoon emergency squad and other agencies were already on the roads of the city to help people and take necessary measures in case of fresh flooding. The state government ha also appointed 80 special officers to oversee the relief and rescue operations in the hundreds of flood hit colonies around the city.

The administration was on alert as the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of more heavy to very heavy rains over the next 48 hours as a low pressure area was formed over the Bay of Bengal. Under its influence heavy to very heavy rains were likely in coastal Andhra Pradesh and parts of Telangana including Hyderabad, a bulletin of IMD said.

On Tuesday the rains started in and around Hyderabad at 3am and continued intermittently during the day. Water logging on the roads affected the flow of traffic specially in the areas of Uppal, Dilsukhnagar, Nacharam, Kapra and other outskirts. In the heart of the city areas like Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills, Kothi and Malakpet were also at the receiving end of the rains.

Extremely heavy rains had started on the night of October 13 and with some respite on a couple of days in between they were still continuing to batter the city, derailing normal life.

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Commissioner Lokesh Kumar warned the people against venturing out of their homes. “Except in unavoidable circumstances don’t come out of homes in view of the warning of rains”, he said. Minister for Municipal Administration K Taraka Rama Rao put the overall toll across Telangana at 70, including 33 in Hyderabad.

The situation in the flood-hit areas remain grim as 80 colonies and 54 apartments were still under water. While the administration was trying to move the people to temporary relief camps, many were preferring to stay in their upper storied flats.

Riding school help

In a novel initiative members of Hyderabad Horse Riding School reached the marooned families riding their animals. Videos of horse riders entering the flooded colonies like Nadeem Colony and providing essential commodities including milk and drinking water have gone viral on social media.

Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar said that the personnel of mounted police were also involved in relief operations with their horses. “Challenges bring out the best in Hyderabad city police. Every wing is geared up to support the community. All this is possible with the support of community”, he said.

Leaders, legislators and workers of MIM, the influential political party of Hyderabad, were also on the ground participating in relief measures and helping the official machinery’s efforts. A large number of social organizations and NGOs were also trying their best to provide succour to the devastated families and helping with boats made of empty drums and bamboos and ropes.

Financial assistance

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has announced an immediate financial assistance of Rs 10,000 to each of about 400,000 families affected by the floods. Rs 100,000 will be paid for the each house damaged or collapsed in the rains and floods, he said.

Meanwhile, other states have also started extending their helping hand to Telangana in the hour of crisis. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced help of Rs 100 million and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also donated Rs 150 million for the relief efforts. “Floods have caused havoc in Hyderabad. People of Delhi stand by our brothers and sisters in Hyderabad in this hour of crisis”, Kejriwal tweeted.