Hyderabad: Officials of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) are a worried lot, pondering a scenario where three parties do well in the elections and have substantial seats in the municipal council – the TRS, MIM and BJP.
Fearing that they would get sandwiched if the TRS, the BJP and the MIM win seats in good numbers as is being sensed by them, they say that though the civic body is already bankrupt, the state government has been coming to their rescue to pay salaries during the last week of every month.
However, without the state government’s guarantee, no project launched in the city would take off and officials would be put under tremendous pressure to release ward development funds pertaining to developmental activities to be taken up.
According to highly placed sources in the GHMC, the most drastically affected people would be civic body officials, if the people did not give an absolute majority to ruling TRS in the ensuing elections. Officials fear they would be caught between the devil and deep sea, with pressure being put on them by the newly elected GHMC council.
Sources said that if BJP wins over 30 seats, which they fear might happen as per current trends, officials would face heat from them but since the civic body was already bankrupt and has been relying on the state government for salaries of employees, they might not get the same support on payroll.
Once opposition becomes strong, it would be very difficult to handle the MIM and the BJP corporators in council meetings. The government has already informed the civic body to raise loans for developmental activities, with the government providing a guarantee.
A senior GHMC official said that till date, no corporator in the city has “created any problems” pertaining to developmental activities due to a clear verdict. He said, however, if the verdict changes, corporators would become more responsible and raise several questions about developmental activities in their respective wards.
Wards committee members, with their own political interests, would demand good quality work contractors who has been executing works in their ward, or threaten to halt works. This could disturb the delicate balance between the corporation and contractors, he said.
Another official informed that ever since the poll notification was announced, cutting across party lines, no corporator had visited the civic body office requesting to complete any pending works in their wards. However, all this might change in February, especially if the opposition gains ground.
The official further admitted that given the GHMC’s bankruptcy, the corporation would not be able to give salaries to newly elected corporators without the support of the TRS government.
Likewise, he said, in order to showcase their political presence after GHMC polls, the city would witness several dharnas and protests for release of ward development funds, which the current council cannot handle.