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A technologically advanced city, time to probe: why Hyderabad roads quality is so poor

By Sudhansu R Das* 

The city of Hyderabad is growing in all directions at a rapid pace. But, the physical growth of the city does not commensurate with the safety of the Hyderabadis. High speed, drunken driving, driving with high beam, wrong lane driving, lack of pedestrian paths, bad road condition in many localities, endless road construction, defective curves, unmarked humps, potholes and manholes which are six to eight inches below the road surface etc cause deaths and injuries to innocent Hyderabadis. 
An analysis of data collated from the three police commissionerates -- Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda – shows that the western zone registered close to 800 road accidents in 2023 that left 123 dead and 685 people injured. Narsingi, Madhapur, Gachibowli and Raidurgam have high rates of accidents. 
LB Nagar-Hayathnagar stretch on National Highway 65 connecting LB Nagar-Hayathnagar stretch has witnessed 400 accidents in 2023. The highway connecting Secunderabad-Medchal has had an alarming increase of road accidents in the last three years. The Telangana government can follow simple steps to safeguard precious lives, limbs and time of commuters who immensely contribute to the economic growth and prosperity of the state.
Despite this, the authorities release the full amount to the road contractors and do not even a minimum 30% of the total amount sanctioned for five years to ensure that the roads are worthy for making payment. There is little inspection after every monsoon, nor is penalty imposed on contractors if roads are damaged due to rain. 
Roads are made to withstand rain and bad roads only peel out after rain. The roads made in Dhulapally, Gandimausima, Gundlapochampally, Kompally, Bahadurpally and many other suburban areas were reconstructed last year. But in many places the poorly constructed roads show cracks and become dangerous for commuters.
Roads give life and livelihood to people; it saves time and money. It boosts business, tourism and the services. Good roads lay the foundation of economic prosperity. Bad roads give sufferings to people and bring downfall to political parties. Because the discontentment which brews among the commuters explode at the time of voting; sure defeat follows. Commuters always curse the politicians when they drive on bad roads. 
Economic activities collapse and underperform due to bad roads. Yet, there is clear message to the road contractors that they should mend their ways and build quality roads. The builders who damage public roads due to construction activities should be asked to rebuild the roads immediately. 
 Pedestrian paths should be compulsory everywhere and the pedestrian paths should always be freed from encroachment. Road signs and sign boards should carry the names of places in trilingual; it should be put in every square to make driving easier for domestic and foreign tourists.
Hyderabad is a technologically advanced city. The city can live up to its reputation if it puts in place a surveillance mechanism to nab the drivers who drive at high speed and those who use high beams. Hundreds of commuters who use two wheelers face accidents daily in Hyderabad due to high beam and errant driving. 
The surveillance gazette can catch errand drivers and issue e-challans; it will add to the state’s revenue. At the same time, the state government should ensure that the surveillance and road monitoring should not harass innocent commuters. Motorcycle borne hawk squad should be in readiness to chase and catch those who violate road rules. Instant punishment will bring discipline to the roads.
Adequate open space should be provided for vehicle parking since people pay hefty road tax in Telangana. People will no longer park on the roadside. A state of the art reliable and comfortable town bus system should connect each part of the city; it will reduce the number of private vehicles on the road. 
 Meter reading should be compulsory for auto rickshaws. The Sikkim government has established road discipline in the state with strict monitoring. The Telangana government can follow the best practices followed in other Indian states to ensure road discipline; it is very essential for inclusive growth.
The western zone of Hyderabad registered close to 800 road accidents in 2023, leaving 123 dead and 685 injured
If Andhra Pradesh prospers under the septuagenarian leader, Chandrababu Naidu, it will attract the Andhra people to go back to their home state. Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand states became fully operational within two years of their formation. It is not understood why it has taken more than 10 years to shift the State and Central government offices to Andhra Pradesh from Hyderabad. The State and the Central government offices should immediately function in Andhra Pradesh for better implementation of government projects; it will save crores of rupees towards official tours. Shifting of offices to Andhra Pradesh will reduce the traffic pressure on roads.
The omni directional growth of Hyderabad is an additional burden on the state as it is not possible to provide good roads to such a vast area. The best solution is the government should develop the existing towns in the periphery of Hyderabad instead of letting Hyderabad expand; the rapid expansion eats up the priceless granary around the city which can be used for food production since water and food will become scarce all over the world. 
The city needs native trees, buffer forest zones, open space, water bodies, rock gardens and hills for its own survival. Indians should have their own vision of development; they should not propagate and follow the lifeless growth story of other countries like any other backward country and end up destroying both urban and rural areas. 
Hyderabad was full of life, livelihood and immense tourism potential. It had all the elements for a balanced growth. Industry, skills, manpower, natural sector, farming, fishery, agriculture, tourism and handicraft making can be combined to create a dream city which will be worth emulating for the entire country. 
If only five big lakes of Hyderabad are revived, it will meet the fish and water requirement of the entire city. If all the lakes in Telangana are revived with people’s participation, it will boost the fish export from the state and increase the farm production ten fold; it will increase the employment opportunities to an unbelievable level. Good safe roads always link the scopes of development. 
Let us provide safe good roads to Hydrabadis who have immensely contributed to build Hyderabad with their hard work, sweat and tears.

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