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A Daulatabad in the making?

Will Chandrababu Naidu's much hyped Cyberabad become another Daulatabad, the imperial capital of the Tughlaq dynasty that was abandoned because of severe water scarcity? A look at how Hyderabad is coping even as its famed lakes are dry.

india Updated: Jun 09, 2003 18:28 IST
PTI

 
A view of the dried up Himayat Sagar lake in Hyderabad on June 5, 2003.

Will Chandrababu Naidu's much hyped Cyberabad become another Daulatabad, the imperial capital of the Tughlaq dynasty that was abandoned because of severe water scarcity?



This is the question that has been exercising the minds of not only political leaders, administrators, planners but also the common man. This is precisely because the water availability has worsened year after year. So pervasive is the problem that one popular city comedian, Doulat Ram has stringed together many a hilarious vignettes, some real some imaginary, about peoples' water problem to stage a runaway show in the city.

Lake city: The Qutb Shahi rulers, who built the city of Hyderabad from what was wilderness and made it their new capital over 400 years ago, were acutely aware of the water needs of the city. They built the Hussainsagar, now a much-shrunken stinking mass of water, located in the heart of the city, to take care of the drinking water problems.

Osmansagar and Himayatsagar were added several hundred years later and city's population grew.Tillthe 1970s, Hyderabad had no water problem as the water availability was same as on today though the population was only 20 lakh then. The city has since grown by leaps and bounds and 11 municipalities on the periphery have become part of the urban conglomeration called Hyderabad, with a total population of 55 lakh. As a result, water supply is under acute strain.

Not that the rulers of the state were unaware of this problem. From early eighties officials have been pushing the government to go for some long term solution to save the city, without much response. The first serious effort in this direction was made by Dr Chenna Reddy in his second tenure as Chief Minister in 1989.

First Published: Jun 09, 2003 18:28 IST