Hyderabad: The decade-old Charminar Pedestrianisation Project (CPP) has come to a grinding halt once again due to the intransigence of the Hyderabad traffic department .
The GHMC has completed work worth Rs 8 crore on the project but due to the recent decision of the traffic police to allow the Ganesh procession on the Charminar route, it will be damaged. The corporation has requested the traffic police to consider an alternative route, they are reluctant to do so.
Against this background, the civic body has decided to put the project on hold until either the government provides a permanent solution. Civic officials say that they cannot afford Rs 6 crore worth of damage every year.
Corporation officials point out that the granite pavements from Charminar to Gulzar Houz and Sardar Mahal, which are designed for pedestrians, will be damaged if the trucks carrying the idols from Shalibanda and Charminar are allowed access. The pavements at Laad Bazaar Road and Sardar Mahal would be completely removed during the immersion day.
The corporation has been able to complete the pavement work after toiling for more than a decade, fighting several court cases, the locals and public representatives. However, they claimed that the threat to the project came from an unexpected quarter the routing of the Ganesh immersion procession. Even though the issue has been raised in the recent review meeting, traffic officials did not even comment on it.
A senior GHMC official, on condition of anonymity, said that after delaying the work for 15 years, the corporation has finally completed it using granite and cobble stones at an estimated cost of Rs 6 crore.
He said that even though the traffic can be diverted through outer and inner ring roads via the High Court building, the traffic police department was not willing to consider it and has decided to allow the procession through Shalibanda and Charminar.
The official said that the corporation will have to spend Rs 8 crore every year to restore the pavements, permanent bollards and other structures damaged during the immersion day.
Moreover, as the GHMC has pointed out, 800 metres radius around the Charminar has been designated a pedestrian only zone, with no heavy vehicles allowed.
“The 800-metre radius does not have the structural stability to allow heavy vehicles and the granite pavement will definitely be damaged if heavy vehicles are allowed. Of the Rs 11.05 crore worth of work pertaining to Inner and Outer ring road covering Charminar, 95 per cent has already been completed and moreover the High Court route can be used without damaging the project,” the official added.
It’s no wonder that the GHMC has decided not to carry out any other work, including façade development, special lighting, installing temporary and permanent bollards, until a final decision is taken on the project.
It's only reasonable that once work is done at considerable public expense, it should not be undone in this heedless manner....