The state government on Thursday merged 15 more gram panchayats with Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), increasing the jurisdiction of the GHMC from 625 to about 900 sq.km.
As many as 36 gram panchayats have been merged with Greater Hyderabad in the last one week.
The panchayats merged on Thursday were Gandipet, Manchirrevula and Kokapet (Rajendranagar mandal); Jawaharnagar (Shamirpet mandal); Shamshabad (Shamshabad mandal); Pragathinagar, Bachupally, Kompally and Dulapally (Qutbullapur mandal); Boduppal, Medipally and Chengicherla (Ghatkesar mandal); Nagaram and Dammaiguda (Kesara mandal); and Gundla Pochampally (Medchal mandal).
The merger is perceived for the purpose of making Hyderabad a joint capital for Telangana and Seemandhra in case of state’s bifurcation. It is more than likely that any concessions that the central government might offer as part of the “protective measures” for Andhras settled in the city will be made applicable to all areas covered by the corporation.
When contacted, State Election Commission secretary Navin Mittal told Express that the notification issued a few days ago for conducting the polls to the said gram panchayats was kept in abeyance as they no more existed as panchayats.
On September 3, the government merged six gram panchayats _ Jillelguda, Meerpet, Phadishareef and Jalpally (Saroornagar mandal), and Peerzadiguda and Parvathapur in Ghatkesar mandal.
On August 31, the municipal administration and urban development department issued a GO Ms 407 for merging 15 gram panchayats. They include Satamrai and Kothwalguda in Shamshabad mandal; Narsingi, Vattinagulapalli, Neknampur, Puppalguda, Khanapur, Bandlaguda Jagir, Kismatpur, Himayathsagar, Peeramcheruvu and Hydershakot in Rajendranagar mandal; Nizampet in Qutubullapur mandal; Kalwancha in Hayatnagar mandal; and Kothapeta in Saroornagar mandal.
Two more gram panchayats _ Manikonda Jagir and Balapur (Part) _ will also be merged with Greater Hyderabad once the High Court disposes the PILs pending before it. Significantly, the orders have come after the elected body of GHMC, which met in the first week of July, had flatly rejected the merger proposal.
On July 27, the government issued an order proposing to merge another 13 gram Panchayats which include Shamshabad, Kompally, Pragathinagar, Bachupally, Dulapally, Jalpally, Boduppal, Peerzadiguda, Medipally, Parvathapur, Chengicherla, Nagaram and Gundla Pochampally.
As per GHMC Act,state government sought GHMC General Body to submit their views on the above proposal of the Government to include the areas covered by the surrounding 13 Gram Panchayats within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt of the notice. If no views, objections,suggestions are received from the GHMC Council within the above stipulated time, it will be construed that the GHMC has no remarks to offer on the proposal of the government.
City mayor, M Majid Hussain has called council meeting on September 16 and 17 to discus the merger. Even in the event of the council rejecting the merger proposal, the government can take refuge under a technical clause that the resolution of the GHMC’s elected council on the merger proposal has not come “within the stipulated time”.
The government proposed to include in GHMC the panchayats in Rangareddy district which are contiguous and require better infrastructure and amenities.
Also to meet the challenges thrown up by fast pace of growth of Hyderabad and its urban spread and to manage in an integrated manner both the metropolitan and community level developmental needs of the extended areas also as the existing separate local bodies of the surrounding panchayats will be unable to cope up with the increasing pressure.