Parties promise sops that don't come under GHMC

Poorly thought-out manifestoes try to usurp powers of water board, HMDA, state government for civic body

Hyderabad: Most of the projects mentioned in the manifesto of political parties offer no direct benefit to the public. For instance parties like TRS boast of multi grade separators, Congress about heritage conservation, women empowerment centres and others about free Wi-Fi although the basic needs are roads, water, drainage system and solid waste management.

TD-BJP alliance boosts of Central funds while TRS wants funds to be routed to them.

According to council regulation, any project exceeding the budget of '5 crore has to be approved by the standing council (15 corporators with the Mayor presiding over the committee) and sent to the state government for approval. No political party alone can execute a multi crore project.

For instance TDP – BJP combined manifesto has promised to 1. Musi River front will be developed on the lines of Sabarmati in Gujarat 2. Third Phase of MMTS and extension of Metro rail to all uncovered areas. 3. Reconstruction of the entire drainage system in city.

The Congress has made promises that have no relevance with the municipal body like 1. Free drinking water – the cost of Godavari scheme alone is Rs 3,350 crore to lift water covering a distance of 186 kms and the city water board to pump water to different wards pay an electricity bill of over Rs 1 crore per month. Both the GHMC and city water board execute projects on loan basis.

TRS has promised, revival of 4,000 lakes in Hyderabad and RR district, free Wi-Fi, planting of 10 crore saplings on city outskirts spread over a radius of 1,000 kms that has no direct benefit to the voter.

A former urban planner for HMDA who did not want to be named said, “In India I am told we have more mobile phones than toilets. How does a Wi-Fi benefit a person who does not get water and garbage is not removed and there is no drainage system".

"All that a voter needs is civic services, including water supply. The city has a separate body that controls water and sewerage system, so GHMC is left with municipal services mainly health, sanitation, roads and garbage".

"No party has stressed on dog menace, on footpaths encroachments, illegal buildings, basic street lighting, land grabbing and basic amenities. How would a Rs 700 crore smart city benefit the common man.”

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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