Citizens can not only look forward towards faster execution of works by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and also a five per cent rebate in property tax if paid before April-end.

The Cabinet has cleared amendments to GHMC Act including permitting intake of more than 2,600 personnel in key wings such as town planning, engineering, sanitation and others few days ago. The same is expected to put up for Assembly approval in the Budget session.

The changes as suggested by a committee led by former IAS officer B. Prasada Rao empowers the civic body to take up works of up to five crore rupees through the general body from the existing one crore rupees, standing committee to clear works of up to Rs.2 crore, up from Rs.50 lakh. GHMC Commissioner too will have the power to sanction works for up to Rs.50 lakh, up from Rs.20 lakh. Council meetings too are now to be held every three months compulsorily with minutes of the meeting to be ratified the same day.

It should expedite at least official sanctions for various civic works proposed as a government nod was a must for any work costing more than Rs.50 lakh.

“It was also taking up to eight months to get a government order issued. Then the tenders have to be called and finalised before works are grounded which means more than a year before any work is taken up,” pointed out senior officials.

The latest amendments should also prevent indefinite postponement of the general body on political grounds as it had happened recently when there was a gap of eight months. It forced municipal authorities to request the government to sanction the works pending the council approvals with several projects were piling up.

Meanwhile, those resorting to unauthorised constructions will have to brace to pay more property tax in fact 100 per cent more from the current 25 per cent penalty. Tax will be 50 per cent more for buildings with more than 10 per cent deviation.

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