GHMC rejects merger plan
By Express News Service | Published: 17th September 2013 11:28 AM |
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has rejected the decision of the state government to merge 13 gram panchayats with it.
On July 27 the government had sought the corporation’s views, suggestions and objections to merger in respect of 13 gram panchayats within 15 days but the general body met after much delay. In the meantime, the government has issued orders merging 36 gram panchayats, including the 13 in question, with the GHMC.
The 12th general body of GHMC, which met here on Monday, adopted a unanimous resolution opposing the merger of Shamshabad, Pragathinagar, Bachupally, Kompally, Dulapally, Jalpally, Boduppal, Peerzadiguda, Medipally, Parvathapur, Chengicherla, Nagaram and Gundla Pochampally villages with Greater Hyderabad.
‘’The corporation passes a resolution requesting the state government to withdraw the government orders issued recently for merging 36 villages and also urge the government issue directions to maintain status quo,’’ the resolution read.
Mayor M Majid Hussain, who chaired the meeting, asked commissioner MT Krishna Babu not to undertake any developmental work in the extended areas (36 villages) with the GHMC funds till the government releases a white paper giving clarity on release of funds.
The mayor told Express that the merger was nothing but putting additional pressure on the corporation to provide infrastructure and civic amenities in those villages and the corporation would find it difficult to undertake the task.
Hussain asked the government to spell out what it intended to do in the extended areas.
The expansion of GHMC limits could only add to the tax burden on the residents without matching service by the corporation and other service providers like the water board, power distribution company and metropolitan development authority.
“Further, the quantum of of funding from the central government is going to come down because of the focus of JNNURM Phase-II on Tier-II cities and not on metropolitan cities. Funding under the Rajiv Awas Yojana will only be for making the existing city slum-free and, as such, more central grants are ruled out in the near future,” the mayor said.
TDP floor leader Singireddy Srinivas Reddy said that the merger of 36 villages would bring development to a standstill as the GHMC was not in a position to bear the additional financial burden. He said the pressing need is to improve civic amenities such as roads, streetlights, sanitation in the existing city limits and not merger of more areas with the city. The government should provide a grant of at least `10,000 crore to provide amenities in the city as it existed now, he said. If the city’s outer limits were stretched further, the corporation had to buy at least five helicopters for the mayor, commissioner and other officials for visiting and holding meetings in the far-flung extended areas, he remarked.
MIM floor leader Md Nazeeruddin said the villages were primarily agricultural lands and their inclusion in the city was not just as fields will vanish and roads, buildings and plots will spring up there. The government should have taken the view of the council before issuing the orders, he said.
Congress floor leader Diddi Rambabu and ex officio member and legislator MS Prabhakar also opposed the merger.