Hyderabad: Although the city is revelling in the spirit of Bathukamma, the GHMC’s attempt to decorate major city junctions with Bathukammas has received a tepid response.
Like every year, the civic body has invited bids for the installation of 5-foot Bathukamma at important junctions. Authorities had decided to increase the number of Bathukammas from 100 to 140 this year.
Although tenders were invited twice, none responded. The authorities, shocked by the response, have invited fresh tenders. In fact, officials claimed to have shortlisted a third agency and assured them they can make use of the iron frames of Bathukammas, which were used last year.
Authorities fixed a price of Rs 7,000 for used iron frames, Rs 12,000 for new ones. The officials told the private agency that they have to coordinate with the GHMC for the installation of the used iron frames.
However, the authorities did not specify how many new and old ones would be installed.
The GHMC decked up the city with Bathukammas, installing 1,000 hoardings at all major intersections, bus shelters, foot overbridges, and arches. The GHMC has formed 12 Bathukamma Action Teams (BATs) as part of special arrangements, with approximately 95 sanitary field assistants (SFAs) and 1,100 sanitation workers. It has arranged for 28,916 temporary street lights with a budget of Rs 1 crore.
The corporation officials stated that they have been coordinating with the tourism department for the grand events on September 30 at People’s Plaza and on October 3 for Saddula Bathukamma. Around 3,500 GHMC women staff would take part in the event. The festival would be held on a larger scale than last year, with 3-D lighting illuminating all important locations and traffic junctions to suit the occasion.
Other than Tank Bund, the GHMC made arrangements at Saroornagar tank, IDL tank, Hasmathpet tank, Pragathinagar tank, Sunnam Cheruvu, Gangaram Cheruvu, Durgam Cheruvu, Palle Cheruvu and Pedda Cheruvu. On Saddula Bathukamma, crackers will be set off for 25 minutes at Durgam Cheruvu, Safilguda Mini Tank Bund, and Saroornagar Lake. In addition, 74 baby ponds located throughout the city were being cleaned.