Though the proposal of merging the villages surrounding the Municipal Corporation of Rajahmundry (MCR) and upgrading to Greater Rajahmundry Municipal Corporation (GRMC) was met with mixed response from people of the proposed villages, elected representatives are mounting pressure on the government to issue a GO, ordering the unification.
If MCR is made GRMC, as much as Rs 250 crore will be sanctioned by the Centre under JNNURM for various development works.
Since the ‘greater’ status is given only if the population of a town exceeds 4 lakh, the the merger was proposed. The existing population of MCR is 3,15,057, and with the merger of 22 villages, it would increase to 4,19,818.
The proposal to expand the city has been pending since 2002. It was stalled as Bommuru panchayat vice-president Kamini Venkata Rama Prasad Choudary filed a writ petition in High Court opposing the merging, alleging that the villagers would have to face many problems if the mergers took place.
Speaking to Express, Choudary said many layouts being designed in violation of village rules and regulations.
“It is better to merge the villages in MCR only if there a plan to provide basic facilities to them. If the merger is aimed only to increase MCR’s income, there is no need for the unification.”
Ramdas from Katheru village questioned how MCR would supply drinking water to the new villages since it was not able to provide drinking water in Rajahmundry per the needs. Villagers also fear the hike in property taxes if GRMC was created.
Rajahmundry Urban MLA Routhu Suryaprakasa Rao said chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy had formally consented to merge the villages in MCR. A GO will be issued in two months. With funds from the Centre, the merger will help in a planned development of the city.
He averred that necessary facilities will be provided to all 22 villages with the funds. Constructions which are coming up violating the rules in the villages will regulated, along with providing proper roads and drains.
MCR commissioner M Jitendra however, said, so far, the government had not sent any orders in this regard.