HYDERABAD: Will life in Hyderabad be any better in 2016? Let’s do a reality check of things that impact life on a day to day basis. Hyderabadis are lucky in that they always begin the new year with the biggest and cheapest entertainment taking off. No prizes for guessing. It is the ‘Numaish’ which regales Hyderabadis for 46 days to be precise. Here are other things to look forward to this year.
If statistics are anything to go by, there won’t be any respite from the burgeoning traffic and the rising pollution levels. But the silver lining is that one can hope to commute faster in the new year. The Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) is all set to throw open Corridor I from Miyapur to SR Nagar (12 kms) and Corridor III from Nagole to Mettuguda (8 kms) in the next couple of months. What it means is faster travel for a large chunk of people and lesser congestion on roads.Till date 63 percent work is complete. A record 2035 foundations (53 km) are laid, 1950 piers erected (51 km) and viaducts to a distance of 41 km built. This apart the Miyapur and Uppal depots are ready and 50 trains in place to provide seamless travel. “The entire project will be completed by June 2017”, says an exuberant NVS Reddy, managing director, HMR.
There will be no parched throats but the elixir of life will become dearer in the coming months. As usual the Water Board is putting up a brave face and is confident of maintaining the present supplies of 364 mgd. But the ground reality is that it will be a summer of discontent. Four principal sources of water supply to the city have almost dried up. The Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar are yielding barely 4 mgd each while not a drop is coming from Manjeera and Singur. It is Krishna and Godavari which are providing the lifeline to citizens. Hyderabad gets 270 mgd from all three Phases of Krishna and 86 mgd from Godvari Phase I. “We will continue to maintain the present supplies till themonsoon”, assures M. Satyanarayana, Executive Director, and G. Rameshwara Rao, Director (Operation) Water Board. The depleting ground water table, however, is a cause for worry.
Charminar Pedestrianisation Project (CPP)
Tourists will continue to have a tough time appreciating Hyderabad’s most popular icon. Charminar remains as chaotic as ever thanks to the project aimed at decongestion of the area taking a backseat. “The government is not serious about it” is all that official would remark. In the making for the last 15 years, the CPP is a testimony to the government’s apathy. Though a massive Rs. 300 crore is spent till date, none of the project components are complete. Road widening still remains and as such traffic can’t be diverted fully on the outer ring road. Granite flooring in the buffer zone around Charminar is yet to start. So is construction of multi level parking lots at Moti Galli and the old bus stand. If you are looking for a hassle-free view of Charminar forget it. You have to fight for space to see it.
Hyderabadis are in for the numbers game again. It will be a massive exercise since one-third of the Telangana population lives in Hyderabad. The war of words to capture the 150 municipal divisions has already commenced. Once the poll notification is issued the poster war will devour the walls. But what’s in store for the common man? Past experience shows that candidates promise the very moon in the run up to the polls, but leave the citizens to fume and fret for basic amenities. Relief from stinking garbage dumps, pot-holed free rides and well-lit streets is the minimum one could ask for. Will the new elected body assure this?
Looks like two-wheeler riders will have little choice this time. The Transport Department is determined to enforce compulsory wearing of helmet in the coming days, thanks to the High Court ruling. Violators will be slapped fine of Rs 100 and repeat offenses will result in cancellation of driving license. Though wearing of helmet is mandatory under the Motor Vehicle Act, it is seldom implemented strictly in thecity. Social backlash and lack of political will have water downed enforcement in the past. This time too many expect the ensuing GHMC polls to bail them out. But for how long? After all it’s your headthat will be at stake.
There is some good news that will make you green with envy. The GHMC has plans to improve green cover in the twin cities. The Chief Minister’s flagship programme, Telangana Harita Haram, has failed to make an impact in the state capital. Perhaps to cover it up the civic body propose to take up a massive drive in the new year. Four major parks besides 95 colony parks are planned in different zones. Also inthe offing are green graveyards, green curtains and green ways. A bio-aesthetic ambience will surely make the city that much livable.