Hyderabad: The GHMC after making grand plans to beautify the vicinity of the iconic Charminar under the Charminar Pedestrianisation Project (CPP) has forgotten to do some basic research.
After preparing estimates and designs, the civic body recently realised that it cannot acquire land or property under any law (neither the GHMC Act nor the Land Acquisition Act 2013), to carry out beautification work.
The corporation wanted to clear 16 public and private properties, including the Charminar police station and Sardar Mahal GHMC zonal office buildings, to set up permanent and hydraulic bollards, special lighting, seating, fountains and other such.
It has barred fuel-run vehicles within a 100-ft radius. The first 50 ft around the Charminar is open terrain where only pedestrians are allowed and in the next 50 ft radius battery-powered vehicles would be permitted.
The first priority was the facades of the buildings in Laad Bazaar, where heritage lights were to be installed like those in the Golden Temple redevelopment in Amritsar. According to the final design, there was to be uniform signage and benches in the middle of the Laad Bazaar road. This alignment of the shops in the area would be checked – shops have intruded onto the road in many cases would be cleared by the corporation.
However, these plans have remained on paper due to a combination of apathy and ignorance about the GHMC Act and Land Acquisition Act 2013 on the part of civic officials.
Sources claimed that the civic body cannot acquire the properties it wants to clear under any of the land acquisition Acts because beautification work does not fall under essential services like infrastructure projects, road widening, play grounds, parks and others do. A senior GHMC official, speaking on condition of anonymity, admitted that if the beautification work was the reason for acquiring any land or properties, it would not satisfy any of the land acquisition Acts. If anyone approaches the court, the project will be further delayed, he said.
“Even though taking up beatification works is a tough job, the corporation is committed to do it. But it would not be possible without strong political will, public participation and encouragement from the state government,” the official said.
Mr Musharraf Ali Farooqui, officer on special duty to monitor the project said that since the beautification work falls under the CPP, the corporation can acquire land under a special Act....