Hyderabad: Badgered commuters of the city, troubled beyond measure by the lunar-scape craters and potholes on our roads, whose hopes rose when K. T. Rama Rao took oath as municipal administration and urban development (MA&UD) minister recently, must brace for disappointment. The nightmares of driving on Hyderabad’s roads will not end anytime soon.
The state government has made it abundantly and emphatically clear that it has will not funds for road repairs.
The maintenance wing of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has currently provisions of only Rs 500 crore in budget to take up works like filling and repairing potholes, craters and de-silting of nalas. If most roads have to be facelifted, a stretch of about 2,000 lane kilometres, the corporation requires about Rs 6,000 crore. Officials claimed that commuters would have to suffer bumpy rides until the financial position improves, not a possibility anytime soon.
Officials claim that they cannot lay new roads at all, and would rather do minor repairs due to the severe fund crisis. The roads laid by the GHMC during 2015-16, prior to the civic polls, have worn out.
According to official records, the corporation had identified 912 roads, which were severely damaged, during 2015-16, prior to the civic polls, and spent Rs 337 crore to repair them. Out of total 4,000 lane kilometres bitumen roads in the city, the corporation has laid fresh roads 1,802.02 lane kilometres.
Overall, the GHMC has laid fresh roads on 1,802.0 lane kilometres. The corporation has been taking up minor road repairs for remaining 2,000 lane kilometres since then.
In 2018, it decided to repair 600 lane kilometres, with an estimated of Rs 720 crore under periodical preventive maintenance (PPM). However, due to wear and tear, about 2,400 km lane roads were severe damaged and about 1,000 lane kilometres requires minor repairs to be motorable.
Highly placed sources said that they have received clear instructions from the state government that they would not get any financial aid. This was told to them by MA&UD minister K.T. Rama prior to reviewing developmental works pertaining to engineering wing.
Sources said road laid four ago were severely damaged due to rainfall, sewerage overflow, pipeline leakage, besides general wear and tear. The corporation immediately requires about Rs 6,000 crore to take up road repairs.
Officials said that commuters have to bear the brunt until the financial situation of the state government improves, since the Hyderabad Road Development Corporation Limited, a special purpose vehicles constituted to raise funds to maintain city roads, too, has been receiving lukewarm response from financial agencies.
“Forget about Rs 6,000 crore for fresh roads, the HRDCL is yet to clear bills of August worth Rs 60 crore. Despite several requests, the corporation, claiming a financial crisis, has been not releasing any funds,” sources added.
When reached for a comment by this newspaper, Bonthu Rammohan, city mayor, and Mohammed Ziauddin, chief engineer, road maintenance, GHMC, were unavailable....