Is the city in a position to put its best foot forward when delegates start trickling in, a fortnight from today to attend the Convention on Biological Diversity.

This question is doing the rounds on several accounts, not merely for the fact that the twin cities, far from being spick and span by now, is shabby. Important roads are either pock-marked with pot holes, the top layer, softened up by rains, washed off, street vendors selling anything from ‘gupchup’ to guavas have taken over the pavements, while ugly hoardings dot the skyline.

By the month-end, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) would have addressed some of these issues, given the Rs. 456 crore budget sanctioned for beautification of the city and other convention-related activities. Greater concerns, however, lurk round the corner. The Ganesh immersion procession, a calendar event, will take place on September 29 and the Telangana March to Hyderabad on September 30. Hordes of people from within the city and outside will virtually over-run the capital on these two days, undoing whatever good done till then. One thing for sure, Hussainsagar Lake will be a murky mess.

Besides, the Congress leadership (read Ministers) will be preoccupied with the party’s brain-storming session on September 23, an event expected to generate as much heat as light over issues as diverse as Telangana, the party’s deteriorating image due to infighting and the involvement of Ministers in scams.

A lot of work also remains to be done by the Forest Department, whose role is crucial in the convention. It has ambitious plans like introducing 10-15 battery-operated cars in the Nehru Zoological park, refurbishing the Deer Parks in Vanasthalipuram and Chilkur, helping organise a ‘bio-diversity’ run from Necklace Road to LB Stadium and arranging visits for delegates to the Srisailam sanctuary, to name a few.

Things have not been made too easy for the media either for coverage of the biennial ‘Conference of the parties to the convention on Biological Diversity’, the nomenclature given by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as the agenda for the 19-day-long event starting from October 1 remains unclear as is the roll-call of heads of State and government participating in it.

At a meeting convened by the Commissioner for Information & Public Relations R. V. Chandravadan with the media here on Saturday to explain the progress of arrangements, Dr. R. Hampaian, Chairman, A. P. State Biodiversity Board, said he expected it to end with a Hyderabad or Kondapur (the main venue) Declaration on the way forward to protect biological resources.