Except for the Metro Rail, there has been no development in civic infrastructure in the area
Getting formally fused with the rest of the city does not seem to have reaped benefits for the innumerable colonies that are part of the East Zone, which comprises Gaddiannaram and L.B. Nagar municipalities of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).
Many residents are not able to notice any change in the civic infrastructure, barring the Metro Rail line and the Outer Ring Road, both of which are under construction for sometime now.
“Another noticeable change is in the property tax bills. I used to pay Rs. 700 for my house then, and I am paying about Rs. 6,000 now, albeit with another floor added in the meantime,” says Madan Mohan, a graphic artist staying at Brindavan Colony in Saroornagar.
Even as water and sewerage connections were granted and laid well before the GHMC was formed, he, however, has not seen even one infrastructural addition to the locality since, except that the roads are being repaired occasionally.
Colonies in these areas, most of them housing middle and upper middle class families, face a wide variety of problems right from uncleared garbage to lack of parking facilities. During the later part of the nineties, the areas beyond Dilsukhnagar abutting the National Highway witnessed proliferation of residential localities thanks to the buoyant economy and real estate boom.
However, civic amenities did not improve, and before the administration was out of its slumber, there stood lakhs of residents demanding better facilities.
“Garbage clearance from streets is in a shambles, especially in rundown localities. The blue bins are always overflowing with garbage, with a dozen dogs at each bin scrambling for bites. This inevitably gives rise to health and sanitation issues,” says G.V. Prasad, a resident of New Maruthi Nagar near Kothapet.
“We have sewerage lines even before the GHMC came into existence. But, with the increase in the number of houses, the width of the existing pipeline is proving insufficient, and, as a result, the drainage lines choke frequently. We have been requesting for pipelines with increased width for a long time, but no heed,” says Mr. Mohan.
Similar is the complaint from M.N. Reddy from Hastinapuram South, who says sewage overflow is a common problem in the locality.
“Drainage overflow is frequent, as the existing pipelines are not sufficient to handle increasing loads. Unattended for a long time, it leads to rampant breeding of mosquitoes. Any number of petitions to the authorities bears no fruit. I have been paying about Rs. 10,000 as property tax every year, but I am hardly satisfied with the kind of services being offered,” Mr. Reddy says.
Lack of greenery is another issue that remains unaddressed. Though plots have been left vacant occasionally for colony parks, they are most often in ramshackle condition owing to absence of strong colony welfare associations. The GHMC, in its turn, leaves it to the welfare associations to maintain a park. The condition of internal roads leaves a lot to be desired, and parking is literally non-existent in multi-storeyed commercial complexes, too. All the vehicles are parked on the roadside, leading to traffic chaos during peak hours.