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Hyderabad roads dangerously turning into source of misery for majority of city dwellers

By Sudhansu R Das 

Good roads are the way to prosperity. Similarly, bad roads can significantly reduce people’s income. It will increase the commuting time, reduce productivity hours, increase the health expenses and the repair cost of vehicles. Roads in Hyderabad continue to be the source of misery for the majority of people. Giant potholes, cracks, broken edges, improper speed breakers and protruding manholes make roads dangerous to travel. 
Lack of pedestrian paths, foot over bridges, road signs and the boards not showing the names of the places in trilingual etc add to the inconvenience of tourists. If the cost of life, productivity hours, damage to human bodies and vehicles is calculated, it will be hundreds of crores of rupees.
Five years back, the National Highway No. 44 between the Suchitra Circle to Medchal connecting Nagpur was one of the most pleasant roads in the country. Lush green big native trees with branches offered cool shadows to motorists. The service roads with tree canopy on both sides of the highway were built to ease traffic pressure on the highway. The roads boosted real estate growth in the ten kilometer radius around the Kompally area. 
Within five years of the construction of the service roads, innumerable cracks and potholes appeared on the roads. In 2022, the big old trees were gone along with their shades. Now, broken roads, giant potholes and half finished concrete structures are found in many places. Nobody knows when the construction activities will end. There are some excellent roads in Hyderabad but the area of good roads is too small in comparison to the size and population of Hyderabad city.
The road connecting the Dhulapally square at the National Highway to Kukatpally through Bahadurpally and Pragati Nagar is life threatening. At night and during the rainy season the roads become too dangerous due to water filled potholes and cracks; the grazing buffaloes sometimes walk on the road and make driving extremely dangerous. If there is heavy rain for six to ten hours the roads get eroded in many places due to poor construction. 
 The majority of the accidents take place when the motorists focus on negotiating potholes, manholes and broken patches on the roads. There are unpredictable potholes on seemingly good looking roads in posh localities also. After heavy rain, the municipality staff put mud and sand on the cracks and potholes at night and disappeared. This solution adds to the problems only.
High beams cause maximum accidents in Hyderabad; the two wheeler drivers suffer a lot. Driving with high beams has become a habit of many motorists who have not learnt discipline and civic sense in their schools. The pickup vans are always in a hurry to violate traffic rules and cause inconvenience to people.
Over the years people have moved from the crowded core city area to Suchitra Circle, Kompally and Gundlapochampally area for healthy living amid greenery; soon they have found the tree lair giving way to aggressive construction activities. The construction companies violate the rules in many places; the desired open space and play area have been ignored. High-rise buildings and ugly concrete structures pop up their heads everywhere. This is not the Hyderabad which people have dreamt of 30 years back.
Quality roads with safety measures boost economic activities and achieve inclusive growth. The newly developed Kompally, Dhulapally, Bahadurpally and Gundlapochampally suburbs had generated huge land revenue for the state government. What these areas need today are good roads, more government schools, public playgrounds, healthy water bodies, open space, public libraries and parks which will improve the quality of living and help in economic development of a large number of people. Pedestrian paths and foot over bridges should be made compulsory in all smart cities.
The aggressive construction activities have oozed life out of . Hyderabad. The omni directional urban growth is no solution to city's problems
The beautiful Kompally area was once full of agriculture activities; grapevines, mango orchards, paddy fields and milch animals etc. In the last 15 years, the majority of the villagers have sold their agricultural lands to builders and now many of them work as security guards, mechanics or house maids in the newly constructed housing colonies; they lament over their past mistakes. Those villagers have already spent their money from land sale and have permanently lost the sense of ownership over their land asset. The granary of Hyderabad is lost forever.
When people suffer and complain they are told their sufferings will end when a flyover comes. When the suffering does not end after a flyover, people are told wide roads will bring relief. When wide roads do not serve the purpose, people are told a metro rail will end their suffering permanently. In fact, the existing metro rail has not eased traffic pressure on roads; the traffic in Hyderabad has increased many folds. 
People keep waiting, pay hefty road taxes and face the risk of travelling on the dangerous roads. The solution lies in controlling the population in the city as the population pressure can collapse both natural and manmade infrastructure in the city. It will create a hell out of heaven if not checked in time.
The aggressive construction activities have oozed life out of the city. The omni directional urban growth in Hyderabad is no solution to urban problems; the city’s infrastructure is cracking under population pressure. No city will sustain such high population pressure. Only sound economic sense and public awareness will save the city. Political leaders cutting across party lines should show a sense of belongingness to the city, its landscape, culture and the rich traditions.
There should be villages, forest and open space in between the urban areas. Small nearby towns should be developed with enough trees, forest and villages in the periphery. It will maintain natural balance, reduce city temperature and make villages as food production centers for the city. 
The atmospheric temperature in Hyderabad is rising alarmingly. After a few years the air conditioners will not work. Hyderabad may lose its revenue generating capacity in future as the use of robots, automation and advanced computers will reduce jobs in all big cities. The economic activities in small cities and villages around Hyderabad should be revived to generate employment. This is high time to save Hyderabad - the paradise of Deccan.

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