“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.”
– Loran Eisley
The cities of Hyderabad-Cyberabad in the Andhra Pradesh state of India are a wonderful blends of the old and the new… the old city with a 400-year-old history, and the new just emerging out of the embryo. The charms of the old city and the forts are in paradox to the new glamour of a hi-tech park.
It is like a big village, where everyone knows everyone and yet, it has managed to acquire an inimitable position in the Information Technology world.
The city where one gets to knock shoulders with history is enchanting, and wonder at the ebullience of modern technology and its effects. Hyderabad is about the Nawabs, the Pearls, the Biriyani, the Charminar, the Bangles, and lots more. The city that captivates you with all its splendour and colors, and that makes you want more…is clueless in meeting the fundamental requirement of water.
The apartments in the urban localities like the Banjara Hills, Srinagar Colony, have grown like mushrooms are providing, relatively comfortable living space…but urbanization has given scant regard to the fragile ecosystem encompassing the city.
The hype and hoopla about the hi-tech city, has resulted in large-scale flocking of people, from different parts of the country. So was I, one amongst the lot flocked into the city. Reality had different tale to tell. When I rummaged for an apartment in the city, it was not the location; not the rent, not the space, not the owner but the decision was pivotal around the quantum and frequency of water supply.
Once in two/ even four days, is the frequency of water supply and the timings are as haywire as it could be. It is not about the sleepless nights. Not that; water won’t come but the question is when. When I visited localities like Marredpally, Bowenpally they said; they are having nightmares, as they’re just not allowed to sleep. It is anytime spanning from dusk to dawn. Communities in Habisguda, Erraguda, the problem takes a different dimension, it’s the not the question of time, it’s the matter of quantum of water that comes. One hour, dot on the hour clock, the drops disappears.
Water Water everywhere, but not a single drop to drink. Water Water nowhere, obviously not a single drop to drink… The cities of Hyderabad-Cyberabad are caught in a catch-22. One part of city sporadically dotted with lakes, but water cannot be used for human consumption. Other part, the question of highly unhygienic doesn’t arise, no water in the reservoirs.
Duality has been the nature of the city, few by design and rest by default. If the creation of an icon of hi-tech city has been by design, the image of a city dearth of water by default. Water the most precious commodity that human being needs, simply has been taken for granted… whereas generous grants are only being taken for hi-tech projects.
The culmination of water crisis; is squarely a resultant of misplaced priorities, muddled policies, myopic planning and misguided perceptions.