Hyderabad: Though the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has been functioning without a standing committee for seven months after the election of its new governing body, it is rumoured that the top brass of ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) is delaying setting up of the committee to appoint leaders of its choice.
As per the GHMC Act, the standing committee, which takes key decisions pertaining to the development of the city, has to be formed within three months after the formation of the general body. However, neither the civic body commissioner nor the state government seems to be keen to announce the committee.
According to reliable sources, the names of the standing committee members were already decided by the party leadership. They said the names of eight corporators from the TRS and seven corporators from the MIM had been finalised to be the standing committee members for the freshly appointed Greater Hyderabad council. Top leaders of the TRS are learnt to have informed the party workers of the same during a recent meeting and also warned them that if the information was leaked, their jobs would be at risk.
As per the GHMC Act, the stranding committee consists of 15 members. Every issue is decided by majority votes in the standing committee. The standing committee has to be appointed by the commissioner. However, seven months have passed since the election of the new civic body, but the corporation is yet to appoint a standing committee, which is like Cabinet ministers in the state government.
The standing committee should be constituted by an order within three months from the date of the first meeting of the corporation under Clause (b) of Section 88 of the GHMC Act. Once the government issues the orders, the GHMC should initiate the process to hold elections to the 15-member standing committee in about two months’ time. According to official sources, the civic body, citing the lacunae in the GHMC Act, has been deliberately delaying the process of appointing the committee. Sources said there was a provision in the GHMC Act that the municipal commissioner can seek suggestions from the government including date and time to appoint the committee. The commissioner, just before the completion of four months' time, sought the permission from the state government and is said to be waiting for its reply.
Sources in the TRS said that once the standing committee was appointed without a comprehensive plan in choosing the members, the party would lose its hold in the Greater Hyderabad council. They said the party leadership had already shortlisted the names of standing committee and co-option members without any consultation with the corporators or elected representatives. Sources said members of both standing committee and co-option members will be shared among the TRS and the MIM. They said the corporates were warned of severe consequences if the internal party information was leaked to the media. "We are just puppets. We have no choice to give opinions or suggestions about the GHMC council affairs despite being elected by the public to represent them. Everything is decided by party top leaders and we should oblige it," said a TRS corporator requesting anonymity.