The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has its work cut out, but where are the men needed to execute it? The Telangana government announced on Saturday that illegal structures built on water bodies would be razed while constitution of special demolition squads was also finalised. However, the Town Planning Department seems to be understaffed.
GHMC Commissioner B. Janardhan Reddy on Sunday wrote to DTCP (Directorate of Town and Country Planning) to send additional staff on deputation to be a part of the demolition drives. The Commissioner has requested for 40 building inspectors and town planning supervisors. Mr. Reddy also wrote to the State government to fill up vacant posts in the town planning wing through exams conducted by the TSPSC. Of the total strength of 268, the wing has only 76 staffers. The GHMC is planning to shift the poor occupants of the illegal structures to houses built under the JNNURM housing scheme. The Commissioner has requested the Collectors of Ranga Reddy and Hyderabad districts to hand over 4,000 vacant houses. The poor residents would be shifted there till the double bedroom houses are ready.
In the preliminary assessment done on the condition of roads in the aftermath of the recent rains, the civic body has estimated that the damage to roads was around Rs. 100 crore. According to the engineering wing officials, roads were damaged at various places on the 180 km length. The Commissioner, who informed that 1,500 potholes were being filled every day, wrote to the government to allot additional funds for repairing roads. On Sunday, MP D. Srinivas visited the control room at GHMC and appreciated the coordinated efforts of the municipal corporation, Hyderabad water board, police, NDRF, Army and other government agencies in tackling the emergency situations in water-logged areas. The MP added that Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao was serious about demolishing illegal structures and encroachments along the nalas.