GHMC council meeting ends in chaos as officials walk out

Hyderabad: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) council meeting on Wednesday ended abruptly with a showdown between ruling and opposition corporators, and for the first time in the history of council meetings, GHMC zonal commissioners and Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) officials walked out.

The officials decided to hold the GHMC council meeting on Wednesday at 10 am and sent out a copy of the order to all corporators, GHMC, and water board officials. Mayor Gadwal Vijayalakshmi arrived for the council meeting at 12 p.m., two hours later than scheduled, with the opposition corporators, primarily the BJP, accusing the Mayor of purposely avoiding debate on civic issues confronting the people.

Utter chaos reigned as the opposition corporators raised slogans in support of their demands, mostly for unfinished civic works in their respective divisions. The opposition corporators surrounded the Mayor's podium as soon as the meeting began, demanding that their concerns be debated and that the Mayor allow for a question and answer session during the meeting.

The GHMC and water board officials boycotted the meeting for the first time—there had never been a precedent for this—and the Mayor adjourned the council meeting just 18 minutes after it began, with the Congress and BJP corporators staged a protest at the Mayor's podium, demanding that questions and answers on civic issues confronting the people be allowed. As the council meeting was adjourned minutes after it began, BJP corporators protested, alleging that the adjournment was orchestrated and pre-planned to ensure that serious civic issues were not raised by opposition corporators.

The BJP corporators contended that a number of problems affecting the people include a string of dog bite incidents in the city, the death 12-year-old girl Mounika in Kalasiguda, neglect of drainage systems, the removal of silt from drainage, among others. Following the BJP corporators protest over adjournment of the council meeting, police were heavily deployed at the GHMC office.

In a symbolic gesture before the GHMC council meeting began, BJP corporators wore life jackets to show that they are ready in the event that the city floods as a result of the GHMC's failure to take action to deal with the intense downpour. Several BJP corporators wore black sarees and shirts as they demonstrated outside the GHMC office door to draw attention to the government's failures in addressing civic grievances. Some BJP corporators dressed up as mosquitos to demonstrate how the GHMC failed to control the mosquito problem in the city.

The Mayor reportedly requested that the council meeting go smoothly and without disruption. The GHMC and water board officials stormed out of the council meeting after the BJP and Congress corporators insisted on a debate on civic concerns, and the Mayor adjourned the meeting as a result.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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