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Sanitation, cleanliness top priorities, says SCB CEO


Published on: December 20, 2022 | Updated on: December 20, 2022

According to SCB CEO Madhukar Naik, "The financial situation in the cantonment is barely sustainable although new projects are being planned to generate more revenue." (File Photo: DC)

Hyderabad: Due to a lack of funds from the state and central governments, there is no room for development in the Secunderabad Cantonment Board. The financial situation in the cantonment is barely sustainable although new projects are being planned to generate more revenue, according to SCB CEO Madhukar Naik, who recently took charge of the board affairs.

What are your development goals?

Sanitation and cleanliness are our top priorities since they reflect on the quality of life in the area we live. The second issue is water supply, and the third is increasing the revenue situation, which we are now able to manage.

What is preventing development when the problems have existed for a long time?

One of the major challenges is securing funds and revenues. The state and central governments have not been releasing funds. The central government is aware that SCB is able to manage and support the weaker cantonments. We have been requesting the government to release the funds for developments.

What types of funds or payments are pending?

The Army has yet to pay us massive service charges. The state government is also responsible for the transmission of property taxes and other funds. Pending transfer of property tax from the state government is over Rs 36 crore. There are several other such funds that are to be released.

How do you intend to generate revenue? Why aren't there more playgrounds and parks?

We intend to establish revenue-generating projects relating to sporting facilities, such as a stadium, as well as build a few parks, as there are hardly any in the Secunderabad Cantonment. We have a lot of cantonment land that may be used productively. We could even build a couple larger convention halls.

Why do people residing in Secunderabad Cantonment areas need to go to Banjara and Jubilee Hills for fun and entertainment activities? Why aren't similar activities available in the cantonment?

We cannot construct pubs here. Cantonments are considered for safety and security rather than amusement, which is also in the best interests of the military, and we must preserve defence security. We will, however, consider developing some fun activities.

We see open defecation, particularly in slum areas. The cantonment's sanitation is in poor condition. We see garbage being dumped in several areas in cantonment.

There are 16,000 slum households, and we will soon be supplying mobile toilets as well as attempting to develop a Sulabh-based system. We intend to increase the number of day-to-day and door-to-door garbage collections. Will also ensure that rubbish is collected and disposed of in dump yards on a daily basis. There are 160 vulnerable points for garbage dumping, but we also need support from the residents to keep the areas tidy.

What about water supply and the free water supply scheme of the state government?

 We rely on the HMWSSB (Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board), borewells, and a few pump houses to supply water to roughly 46,000 residents. The state government has imposed conditions for a free water scheme in cantonment areas. The state government has separate criteria for slums and residential colonies. Free water of 20 kilo liters will be supplied. Residential areas need to have a metered connection and the slums residents need to have an Aadhaar linkage. It is under process, it will begin soon.

Why isn't the Rs 1,000 fine for garbage littering imposed even after it's written on SCB garbage trucks?

We are not focussing on the punishment aspect. We will conduct a few drives and investigate it.

For several years, the road quality in cantonment areas has been extremely poor. When should we expect them to be repaired?

The cantonment and the Army maintain the roads. We can only write to the Army, and when it comes to cantonment, we have prioritised it and are awaiting adequate funds to carry out the repair works for road development.

The SCB's decision on road closures sparked scathing criticism. The residents want the gates opened, is it likely to happen?

Because of the numerous complaints, we hope that the Army authorities will reconsider the road closures. It will be more convenient for the people if at least one or two roads are open to the public.