The council of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution rejecting the government’s proposal on merger of 15 nearby gram panchayats with it.

At the general body meeting held here, Mayor Mohammad Majid Hussain read out the resolution after members from all the parties raised their hands in support at the end of nearly two hours of discussion. The government had sent the proposal seeking the views of the council.

The common stand was that the GHMC had so far failed to take care of the surrounding municipalities that were merged with it few years ago and that fresh additions were not advisable.

MIM floor leader Mohammad Nazeeruddin said, “These gram panchayats are primarily agriculture lands and supply fresh vegetables and pulses to the city. If merger happens, then roads, layouts and plots will come up there and wipe out the agricultural assets which will be a huge loss for all,” he observed.

There was severe shortage of funds, manpower and required paraphernalia for the GHMC to man its present jurisdiction and how would the new areas be managed, TDP floor leader Singireddy Srinivas Reddy asked. The government had assured funds when the surrounding municipalities were merged but not a single rupee was given to the corporation, he said and added,

“With the merger of gram panchayats, the jurisdiction will be so vast that helicopters will be needed to monitor and manage them.”

BJP floor leader Bangari Prakash said the government seems to have decided on the merger, but appropriate budget should be provided before hand. Congress floor leader Diddi Rambabu and former Mayor Banda Karthika felt the issue needed to be studied and assessed properly and brought back to the council.

Amid the debate, GHMC Commissioner M.T. Krishna Babu intervened and said the GHMC was facing problems of garbage disposal and a local body at Jawaharnagar would resolve to close the dump yard there. But if Jawaharnagar was with the GHMC then it could be convinced against any such move, he said.

The argument failed to find acceptance and some members retorted, “We are talking of development and you are talking of dumping garbage there.”

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