City has much to thank Nizams for san­i­ta­tion

■ San­i­ta­tion ex­pert pens how Nizams got wa­ter treat­ment plant to im­prove city’s hy­giene

Deccan Chronicle - - City - ATHER MOIN | DC

■ THE VII NIZAM Mir Os­man Ali Khan gave much im­por­tance to pub­lic health and san­i­ta­tion. In 1921, the Nizam spent `3,71,923 on pub­lic health and san­i­ta­tion (night soil) from Hy­der­abad Mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s to­tal out­lay of `7,90,879.

■ IN 1925, the Nizam spent `1,12,090 on roads, build­ings, drainage con­struc­tions and its man­age­ment.

■ THE CITY DRAINAGE board was es­tab­lished in 1926.

Of 5,161 cities to­day, only 269 have wa­ter treat­ment sys­tems. Hy­der­abad is one among them, thanks to the Nizams.

The Nizams not only fo­cused on ed­u­ca­tion, con­struc­tion of build­ings and in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment, but also gave im­por­tance to pub­lic health and san­i­ta­tion.

Among princely states, Hy­der­abad had a wellde­vel­oped san­i­ta­tion sys­tem, which was un­prece­dented at that time. The Asaf Jahi rulers strived to el­e­vate life stan­dards of com­mon peo­ple and it is a fact that san­i­ta­tion is one of the key fac­tors to as­sess a so­ci­ety’s stan­dard of life.

Dr Gade Venkatesh, a san­i­ta­tion ex­pert and au­thor of “The His­tory of San­i­ta­tion in Nizam’s Rule” said the Asaf Jahi rulers were keen to ac­quire world-class fa­cil­i­ties in their es­tate and al­ways fo­cused on high qual­ity.

What­ever they built and de­vel­oped were the world’s best stan­dards of their times.

He said when the Musi River was flooded in 1908, VIth Nizam Mir Mah­boob Ali Khan showed con­cern. To avoid such hav­ocs in fu­ture and fo­cus on drain­ing of storm wa­ter, he ap­pointed Sir Mok­shagondam Vish­wesh­warayya as chief ad­viser and asked him to study the city and chalk out an elab­o­rated plan to man­age floods and storm wa­ter man­age­ment.

Sir Vish­wesh­warayya sub­mit­ted a plan ad­vis­ing con­struc­tion of two reser­voirs on the Musi River. He also gave a plan to con­struct stormwa­ter drains. One of the of­fi­cers was of the opin­ion that along with storm wa­ter drains, there was the need for a sewage drain sys­tem to im­prove the city’s hy­giene.

Mir Mah­boob Ali Khan praised this sug­ges­tion and dis­cussed it with Sir Vish­wesh­warayya, who strongly sup­ported it.

Dr Gade Venkatesh said a City Im­prove­ment Board was es­tab­lished in Hy­der­abad in 1912 to pro­vide bet­ter fa­cil­i­ties.

The VII Nizam Mir Os­man Ali Khan gave much im­por­tance to pub­lic health and san­i­ta­tion. In 1921, the Nizam spent

`3,71,923 on pub­lic health and san­i­ta­tion (night soil) from Hy­der­abad Mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s to­tal out­lay of `7,90,879.

Dr Gade Venkatesh said Mir Os­man Ali Khan had in­tro­duced scav­enger tax and the col­lec­tion was

`8,241 in 1921 and he dis­bursed `8,166 next year as salary to scav­engers.

Dr Gade claims that with the de­vel­op­ment of sewage sys­tem in Hy­der­abad, man­ual scav­eng­ing was al­most abol­ished. In the Nizam era, safai karam­charis (san­i­tary work­ers) who were like se­poys with­out guns, were a priv­i­leged class.

In Hy­der­abad Mu­nic­i­pal­ity area, drainage lanes stretched 5,05,578 ft in 1921 and 14,427 ft of new drainage lanes were added the same year. The to­tal length of the drainage lanes touched 5,78,539 ft.

Dr Gade said that in 1925, the Nizam spent `1,12,090 on roads, build­ings, drainage con­struc­tions and its man­age­ment. Like­wise, `3,56,008 was spent on pub­lic health and san­i­ta­tion and the mu­nic­i­pal­ity bud­get was

`7,78,893.

The city drainage board was es­tab­lished in 1926.

He said new san­i­ta­tion ini­tia­tives were taken from 1937 to 1940. A Sew­er­age Treat­ment Plant was es­tab­lished in Asif Na­gar wa­ter bed for treat­ment of drainage wa­ter.

An­other STP was con­structed at Am­ber­pet us­ing ox­i­da­tion pond tech­nol­ogy, which treated 53 mil­lion litres per day and the treated wa­ter was used to ir­ri­gate 1,100 acres.

It was one of three to four such plants in the coun­try.

Many peo­ple used to visit Hy­der­abad to study the san­i­ta­tion sys­tem, Dr Gade said.

Dr Gade said usu­ally kings pay at­ten­tion to ex­tend­ing their dy­nasty and hoard­ing wealth, but the Nizams fo­cused more on bet­ter­ment of the com­mon peo­ple.

He said con­sid­er­ing the in­ter­est of present-day gov­ern­ments, if they de­sire to build a san­i­ta­tion sys­tem on par with the Nizam’s era, it will take 3,000 years.

Nawab Na­jaf Ali Khan, grand­son of Mir Os­man Ali Khan, said the ex­cel­lent san­i­ta­tion sys­tem is still in­tact and serves the peo­ple more than 70 years since his vi­sion­ary grand­fa­ther.

Orig­i­nal Swacch move­ment

Sant Gadge Baba of Ma­ha­rash­tra had said that rid­ding the body of ex­cre­ment and the soul of stain is the pu­rity of your true God. He was the so­cial re­former who through­out his life cleaned streets of vil­lages.

He made clean­li­ness a Bhakti move­ment and was the fa­ther of clean­li­ness. He started Swacch move­ment in 1905, much be­fore Gand­hiji re­turned to In­dia.

Dr Gade Venkatesh is a writer, poet, au­thor, scholar and ac­tivist. He has been writ­ing for the two decades. His re­search on pub­lic drainage and san­i­ta­tion sys­tems in Nizams’ role has got ap­pre­ci­a­tion from var­i­ous quar­ters. Of­fi­cers of the Mu­nic­i­pal Ad­min­is­tra­tion and GHMC have ad­mired his re­search on the san­i­ta­tion sys­tem. As an en­gi­neer, he looked into the qual­ity of san­i­tary engi­neer­ing dur­ing the last Nizam’s rule. He wrote a book in Tel­ugu on the his­tory of san­i­ta­tion in Nizam’s rule.

The Sul­tan Bazaar near the present women’s col­lege in­un­dated in Musi flood­wa­ters.

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