Hyderabad: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), in its bid to curb the irregularities and enhance transparency in the estate wing, has decided to geo-tag some 3,000 leased-out properties and upload the information on its website. The move has been prompted by the need to have a better understanding of the renewal of data of several leased properties, which corporation officials claimed they didn’t have earlier, owing to which it had to lose several hundreds of crores annually.
The GHMC recently embarked on a survey which brought to focus the 599 markets and 751 commercial complexes it had leased for a period of 25 years. That apart, the civic body has also leased out 1,519 markets and 121 commercial complexes for a period of more than 25 years. However, though it has identified 2,990 properties after verifying its records, the civic body was clueless about the renewal data of all its leased properties.
Officials claimed GHMC was neither collecting rent nor renewing the properties allegedly due to political pressure. The recent study by officials revealed that the GHMC had lost more than Rs 100 crore over the last one decade on account of non-renewal of leased properties.
When queried on the subject, a senior official from the estate wing told Deccan Chronicle that the corporation would now geo-tag and map all leased properties, adding that the civic body had already issued eviction orders to all individuals and organisations occupying the properties which had completed their 25 years lease period. The official said the GHMC now proposed to call for bids and lease out properties for a period of one year, at the end of which the tenant would have to renew the lease period every year. Information pertaining to the leased properties will put out in the public domain in order to enhance transparency and accountability, he said.
Talking of the properties which have been leased for 25 years, the official said GHMC will impose fines for arrears of up to three years and only then renew the properties. For instance, several shops in Mozamjahi market and Putlibowli market, which have been leased for 25 years, have not been paying rent for the last several years. When GHMC asked for the rent, tenants tried to evade the officials and in cases even tried to influence them with political connections.
In order put an end to such irregularities, shop owners would now be issued forms to list out details of the last renewal and be eligible to continue the lease, the official said. All payments for renewal would only be accepted online.
The GHMC has begun the process of geo-tagging and mapping properties. Till date, it has geo-tagged 66 vacant plots and 840 community halls, and at least 60 per cent of commercial complexes and markets across the city.