Hyderabad

Chronic issues plaguing Hyderabad beg for attention

GHMC elections have been pitched to a different level this time round, what with the poll promises not descending from the name change rhetoric or that about TS-bPASS.

Already several sops have been announced by the government such as flood relief, and property tax concession with an unflinching eye on poll victory. However, all these promises or relief do not cross the path of actual issues faced by the residents, as those remain more or less unchanged for several years. Severe flooding merely a month ago has once again reminded the longstanding need for renovating the stormwater drainage system and sewage network, promises towards which are scant in the poll rhetoric.

Project as minor as new bus shelters has remained short of achievement for the last three years since its launch, while last mile connectivity for the metro rail is still a cause of vexation. Housing for the poor remains a glaring underachievement, with constant deferment of deadlines.

2BHK scheme

“While the government claims to be building one lakh double bedroom housing units, mere 10,090 of them are within the GHMC limits. The remaining are outside the city. This scheme could end up just like the JNNURM, of which 26% dwelling units remain unoccupied till now,” says Sanjeev Kumar from the Human Rights Forum.

Shelter for the homeless, too, has a lot of scope for improvement, as there are only 14 shelters catering to close to 70 lakh population.

Mr Kumar also throws focus on several issues pertaining to civic amenities, including the unimplemented sewerage master plan, and the problem of inundation. “None of the political parties are talking about the solution to the flooding situation. There is no action on the proposal submitted by JNTU experts for flood water drainage,” he says, while asserting that only two schemes by the TRS government — Basti Dawakhanas and the Annapurna scheme offering meals at ₹5 — have been successful in the city.

The idea of city development has changed from provision of basic amenities to appearances, giving priority to projects such as junction beautification and SRDP. “Public toilets remain clogged, water ATMs are a complete failure, parking is given the least thought, and traffic signals are ill-maintained. Grievance redressal is limited to issuing slips,” Mr Kumar says.

One more important issue flagged by him is the futility of ward committees and area committees. Though of vital importance for local issues, no meetings of these committees have been held during the past five years.

Secretary of the Forum for Good Governance M.Padmanabha Reddy emphasises the need to bring down the discourse from Assembly elections to the local polls: “City requirements are different. We have 30 lakh people living in the city’s 1,600 slums, and basic amenities for them should assume top priority. New suburbs keep getting added to the city and they need civic amenities. Political parties should start treating these elections for what they are — civic polls.”

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 5:50:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/chronic-issues-plaguing-hyderabad-beg-for-attention/article33166037.ece

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