Hyderabad: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation’s the nala demolition drive is making slow progress allegedly due to interference from local political leaders. Corporation officials said that even after municipal administration and urban development minister K. Taraka Rama Rao instructed local leaders not to interfere, they have been constantly hindering the demolition drive to gain the political mileage. As a result, the GHMC has managed to demolish only 52 minor encroachments on nalas in six months out of a total of 833 that need to be pulled down.
Following heavy flooding of certain areas in the city last monsoon, the GHMC had conducted a survey of encroachments on nalas along with the revenue department. Civic officials had used drone cameras for aerial surveys and video-documenting of the areas.
Municipal commissioner B. Janardhan Reddy had instructed the town planning wing to serve notices on the owners of illegal structures, besides filing caveat petitions to avoid legal hurdles.
Officials identified as many as 12,182 unauthorised constructions on 173 major nalas. However, the corporation decided to demolish 833 encroachments on 46 nalas which it termed as critical bottle necks. The state government also sought administrative sanction of `230 crore and instructed the civic body to start the demolition drive immediately during July last year.
A senior GHMC official on condition of anonymity said the reasons for the delay in demolition driver were varied. One reason was the dearth of manpower in the Engineering and Town Planning section, as a result of which the drive could not be taken up as expected. He said that in many case owners of the structures had approached the GHMC and elected representatives to hold up the drive and had appealed for a revision of the plans.
The GHMC official said that some local leaders had even attacked and threatened the GHMC staff at demolition sites. He said that the issue was brought to the notice of the state government.
The urban development minister then held a closed-door meeting with city corporators and other local leaders in October and asked them to not interfere in the demolition drive. However, the official said, those instructions fell in deaf ears. Most of the encroachments are concentrated in three circles - circle 3, circle 10 and circle 11. North Zone had the highest number of unauthorised constructions on nalas. Some 4,030 unauthorised structures were identified on 37 major storm water drains in the zone spread over 89.40 km. The Central Zone, which has 39 storm water drains stretching 102.54 km, had 2,809 unauthorised constructions, while West Zone with 41 storm water drains had 2,684 unauthorised constructions.
The South Zone, with 32 storm water drains, had 1,810 unauthorised constructions and East Zone had 849 illegal structures on 24 storm water drains covering 44 km....