Hyderabad: Planning staff provide false info on nala widening works

Officials say there is a lack of co-ordination and political commitment to finish the work.

Hyderabad: Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has been deceiving itself and misleading the government, along with the citizens, by providing false information on ‘nala’ (canal) widening.

The engineering department has been claiming that they had removed around 200 encroachments out of total 800 and widened more than 30 per cent nalas. The town planning department said that more than 50 per cent encroachments were removed and that the nalas were widened. However, in reality, the corporation has managed to remove less than 200 encroachments since a year.

The town planning department officials claimed that they had removed more than 400 encroachments from the nalas out of which 200 were from the Old City. Interestingly, the planning wing had also sent the same report to the government and it has taken the consent of residents living along side the nalas by offering them Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) which had received an overwhelming response. They also claimed that now it was the responsibility of the engineering wing to widen the nalas and construct retaining walls to prevent inundation.

Accepting the removal of encroachments from IS Sadan to Nalgonda crossroad in the Old city, the engineering wing officials said that tall claims of removing encroachments were false. They said that the planning officials had just removed temporary sheds and structures which are in dilapidated condition.

A senior engineering official, on the conditions of anonymity, said that with a month remaining to remove encroachers and to complete the nala widening project, it could not see much progress due to lack of co-ordination and political commitment. He also pointed out that the project has been a big success in the Old City due to strong political will where the local leaders went out of their way to explain the benefits of nala widening.

The official claimed that in the new city, the corporation has managed to remove less than 100 major structures and nala widening has been done for not more than 300 metres.

The corporation had taken up nala widening for 400 metres at Patel Cheruvu-Deepthisri Nagar on only one side of the stretch. He said that nala widening has been the dirtiest job as there was no support from the public, politicians, contractors, labourers and even corporation officials.

However, not taking failures in to its account, the civic body will prepare a vision 2024 document and send it to the government. The corporation has notified the works taken up from 2014 to 2017 and will prepare a comprehensive data which indicates works to be taken up until 2024. The corporation has claimed that it has completed 50 per cent nala widening within the stipulated time and has decided to widen 100 kilometres-length nala with Rs 2,300 crores where 4,832 structures will be affected.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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