Pandemic draw: Groundwater table hits new lows in Hyderabad – ET RealEstate

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HYDERABAD: During the two waves of the Covid pandemic, Hyderabadis have extracted a lot of groundwater.

The reason being: Telangana government imposed lockdown in phases based on the spike in the cases and it was observed that Hyderabad district witnessed a huge depletion in the groundwater table.

The depletion was noticed when the Hyderabad Ground Water Department (GWD) measured the ground water table through piezometers installed in Asifnagar, Bandlaguda,Bahadurpura, Charminar, Himayat nagar, Saidabad, Musheerabad, Secunderabad, Marredpally, Ameerpet, S R Nagar, Khairatabad, Nampally, Shaikpet and Tirumalagiri areas.

GWD observed that in May 2020 and May 2021—considered as ‘peak’ months in the summer season—the ground water depleted between 0.34 meters and 5.27 meters depth below to the ground level. “Usually, the consumption during summer is high, but with the pandemic situation, residents couldn’t leave the city due to lockdown. As a result, they extracted more water,” a GWD official said.

For instance, in Khairatabad, the recorded ground table in May 2020 was 15.97 meters. In May 2021, a depletion of 10.70 meters was noticed. Not only is Khairatabad a residential area, but also a highly commercial area, which could be the reason for the highest depletion in ground water consumption, the official opined.

Surprisingly, in Marredpally—which used to have very high ground water depletion levels in the city—GWD records revealed that there was a depletion of only two meters.
Pandemic draw: Groundwater table hits new lows in Hyderabad According to the GWD report, in May 2020, the recorded ground water table was 20.90 meters, but in May 2021, the table fell to 18.35 meters.

“Groundwater percolated due to copious rainfall. Additionally, the October floods could have also added to the water table,” the ground water department’s analyst said.

The GWD predicts that the city may witness a rise in the ground water table this rainy season, based on the IMD’s forecast.

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Hyderabad: Hostel owners ask students to vacate over rent payment – ET RealEstate

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HYDERABAD: Many students and youth, who moved back to their hometown before the lockdown and have not returned to the city fearing a spike in Covid-19 cases, are now worried as private hostels are asking them to vacate the hostel this month over non-payment of rent.

A large number of young people from other districts live in private hostels in areas like Dilsukh Nagar, Ameerpet and Kukatpally among others. At a time when students, especially those from economically backward classes and marginalised sections of the society, are facing hardships to make ends meet, paying hostel rent in their absence for the lockdown period is an additional burden for many.

Prudhvi Mandarapu, a BTech student, is one among many such people who is facing issues. He had vacated the hostel in March after his college declared holidays due to Covid-19 lockdown. Ever since, he has not returned to the city.

“Although I paid the rent for March-April, I had clearly informed the hostel owner that I want to discontinue the hostel facility beginning May. However, since some of my belongings are still there in the hostel, the owner is asking me to pay rent for May-June,” said Mandarapu.

Many others are making distress calls to the police and state information technology minister K Taraka Rama Rao on social media. “@KTRTRS Sir we are still paying hostel/PG rents in Hyderabad during the Covid-19 crisis despite working from hometown. Can you please look into this issue as we are not able to travel and vacate the hostels in the current scenario and also we never know how long this will last,” tweeted Sai.

Hostel owners said that while they had allowed deferred rent payment for three months following government orders, they have not received arrears from many. “We allowed delayed payment to students from March-May. But many did not make the payment even until June end. I am yet to receive almost Rs 1 lakh from students towards rent. Even if students don’t live here, I have property tax and have other payments to make,” said Venkatesh Marri, manager of a private hostel in Dilsukh Nagar.

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