Hyderabad: As the political parties are gearing up for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation polls, citizens and resident welfare associations of Cyberabad, surrounding municipal areas and the core city want a greater role in Hyderabad’s development process. Urban citizens have become more active over the years as they are fed up with the inefficiency of the civic administration. They want the officials and the elected body to be prepared to allow citizens participate in the management of civic affairs.
IT employee A Smriti Rao said, “Recarpeting of roads over and over should stop. Political parties should field educated youngsters to contest elections who can face the educated voters in colonies. Unlike earlier, this time the expectations are high among citizens; and political parties should do their homework before finalising their candidates for the 150 re-organised municipal wards in the city.”
Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association (Hysea, formerly ITsAP) coordinator, corporate social responsibility, Pradeep Gadicherla said, “The problems affecting the citizens on the civic front are aplenty. There is no underground drainage system in several parts of Hitec City and Cyberabad areas. There are no parking facilities as GHMC has turned a blind eye to buildings being constructed even in spaces meant for parking. There are no footpaths on many roads and the existing ones are only two-feet wide and unfit to walk on. If this is the scenario in Hitec City, one can imagine the condition in other parts of the city.”
Resident Welfare Associations want their members to be involved in every civic work to put an end to the system of commission or percentage given to corporators and officials. “The present official machinery of GHMC lacks will and knowledge to maintain civic infrastructure,” said Federation of Greater Hyderabad Resident Welfare Associations president V.B.J. Rao Chelikani. The federation is an umbrella of over 3,000 RWAs in city.
“The contestants’ track record should be clean and not criminal. During previous polls, many candidates avoided campaigning in colonies fearing a volley of questions from educated voters. It is lack of confidence in contestants that results in poor voter turnout from among educated sections,” said Mr Chelikani. Secretary of Forum For Good Governance, M. Padmanabha Reddy said, “The city needs clean and potable water to drink, effective sewerage and storm water drainage system, roads which are free of potholes, a clean city free of pigs and free of garbage spread all over the streets. We have to wait and see whether the two-bin system will be successful.” “There should be small parks in each of the 150 wards for children and senior citizens; steps should be taken to check air and noise pollution, there should be more transparency in projects implementation and GHMC officials and elected body should be accountable to the citizens,” he added.
Leaders speak: With GHMC polls round the corner, leaders talk as to why their party should win the elections:
- Even people from Seemandhra living in Hyderabad will vote for the TRS as there has not been a single incident of intimidation since the formation of Telangana state. CM K. Chandrasekhar Rao has taken steps to make Hyderabad one of the best cities in the world. TRS will win the GHMC on its own and both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor will be from the ruling party. Double-bedroom houses, bringing Godavari water to the city before Singur and Manjira dried up, completing Krishna Phase-III, giving 24-hour power supply, waiving nearly Rs 600 crore worth water and electricity bill arrears of the poor, transforming Hyderabad into an IT start-up hub and making the city a global investment destination will see the TRS through. T. Padma Rao Goud, Minister from Hyderabad.
- Right from the Outer Ring Road to the Shasmahabad international airport, the PVNR Expressway, commissioning of Krishna Phases II and III, everything was done by the Congress regime, The Godavari water project was taken up by the Congress government. The Hyderabad Metro Rail, completion of the jinxed Sitaphalmandi flyover, construction of the flyovers at Greenlands, Panjagutta and Chandrayangutta and civic projects, all worth nearly Rs 1 lakh crore, were taken up during the 10 years of Congress rule. Neither the TRS, the MIM nor the TD-BJP have anything to seek votes. The citizens will give the Congress a thumping majority. Mohd Ali Shabbir, Congress MLC.
- The TD-BJP alliance will win a majority of the 150 GHMC divisions. From Hitec City, that has become the economic backbone of the state, to taking up works on Krishna Phase-I and Phase-II, the Hyderabad Metro Rail, and bringing Hyderabad on global investment destination map, the credit goes to the Telugu Desam and the then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu. Maganti Gopinath, TD Hyderabad president, Jubilee Hills MLA.
- All the parties are counting their winning chances in 110 municipal divisions and leaving out 40 seats that are a sure-shot for the MIM in the old city. This time the MIM’s tally will increase to 50 seats, that will mean that only 100 would be left for the others. The maths is simple. Our slogan is ‘Shahar Hamar, Mayor Hamara (Our city, our [MIM’s] Mayor)’. No party can get the Mayor post without the MIM support. Jaffar Hussain Meraj, MIM MLA, former deputy Mayor.
?Parties’ game plan for polls:
Political parties have their own game plans to bag the coveted posts of mayor and deputy mayor and win majority of the 150 seats in the upcoming Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation polls. The polls have become a prestige issue for the parties as these are the first GHMC polls after formation of Telangana.
The TRS had no representation in the last elected body in the GHMC while allies, Congress and MIM, have turned foes. And the TD-BJP combine is always a force to reckon with. There are also others like the YSRCP, independents and MBT. The ruling TRS wants to erase the past and is aiming not only for the mayor’s seat but also to emerge as the single largest party without the support of any other party. Most probably it won’t go in for any pre-poll alliances and will only opt for post-poll alliances if needed. According to political pundits, “Operation Akarsh of TRS” (luring leaders of other parties) might help it to get the required numbers and the scope of the pink flag fluttering at the GHMC office is more this time.
While the MIM is claiming “Shahar hamara, mayor hamara,” the Congress is confident of winning on its own but is open for pre and post-poll alliances. The TDP-BJP combine is also a formidable force with the BJP having its vote bank in the core city and TDP in surrounding areas.
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