Hyderabad: Reprimanding the GHMC for poor upkeep of roads, waterlogging during rains and potholes not being repaired, the Telangana High Court on Tuesday asked the civic authorities to not just give priority to roads in Prashasannagar and other VIP zones where officials, MLAs, MPs and celebrities live, but to concentrate on areas where common people live.
“They are also paying taxes. Have concerns about their grievances too,” a division bench comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy observed.
Referring to several reports and incidents of waterlogging due to poor drainage system, the bench disapproved of the manner in which rainwater was being managed by the GHMC. “Hyderabad is internationally renowned for its IT and other industries, but the poor maintenance of roads and bad drainage system would destroy the good name of the city and investors may rethink to come to Hyderabad, the bench opined.
The bench was dealing with a suo motu PIL based on news reports pertaining to the filling of potholes on city roads by a senior citizen couple. Representing the GHMC, senior counsel Niranjan Reddy told the court that the GHMC had budget constraints. He said there was an effective grievance mechanism system established like MYGHMC application, where the citizens can submit their complaints.
The court sought detailed statistics and actions related to the app. Justice Vijayasen Reddy commented that the GHMC gave priority only to MLAs and MPs colonies where the drainwater system, sewerage, sanitisation and everything were perfect. Had they shown priority to the lives of common people, they would have done the same for them too, he said.
To this, counsel referred to various cities and stated Hyderabad was still a better place. The Chief Justice wondered how this city could invite investments if proper sanitisation, good infrastructure and clean environment were not priorities and suggested the city had to set a benchmark by taking appropriate measures.
Senior counsel L Ravichander, appearing in a connected case, brought to the notice of the court the amount of funds the civic body got from the Centre under the Amrut Scheme. The Strategic Nala Development Plan of the GHMC, floated in October 2020, was non-functional, he said. He also raised concerns about the water management plans referring to the United Nations Water Development Report. The court adjourned the case by two weeks for a detailed report of the present situation....