Hyderabad: A thunderstorm recently pulled down an illegal hoarding of a furniture shop in Shamshabad. Despite the High Court orders and repeated directions from municipal administration minister K.T. Rama Rao, officials of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation have not removed hoardings because they are a source of income for some of them.
When contacted at the GHMC west zone, an officer confirmed that there was no permission granted from the GHMC office for the hoarding.Since part of Shamshabad area falls under the gram panchayat, the officials are not known if the permission was given by the gram panchayat authorities according to sources.
Unauthorised hoardings seem to be competing with illegal constructions in the city. In 2016, the Hyderabad High Court had come down heavily on the corporation officials for their inaction against illegal advertisements. It directed officials to pull down all unauthorised hoardings.
A division bench comprising the then acting Chief Justice Dilip B. Bhosale and Justice P. Naveen Rao was dealing with a public interest litigation filed by Telangana Vanarula Parirakshana Committee, seeking to declare the action of the GHMC authorities in not taking proper care and caution while granting permissions for hoardings and flex boards and collecting improper taxes as illegal.
Also through an question posted under the Right to Information Act, it was found that in 2015, corrupt officials earned Rs 500 crore by permitting 6,000 hoardings in the city, whereas on paper the permitted number was 2,400.
Not a single hoarding can be set up without the knowledge of the GHMC officials, the permissions are given both at zonal and head office level.Illegal hoardings and those with adequate supports have caused much damage in the city. Most notably, a hoarding had fallen on cars parked in front of a showroom, damaging many vehicles during heavy rain a couple of years ago. Despite many warnings, the illegal hoardings continue....