HYDERABAD: AN MLA of the ruling TRS party has allegedly put a ‘speed breaker’ on the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) by stalling one of the most crucial road-laying works stretching from Film Nagar to Shaikpet Road. The busy lane connects Jubilee Hills to the Old Mumbai Highway.
Jubilee Hills MLA M Gopinath reportedly stopped the GHMC from laying the service road on the widened portion claiming that it was his close aide’s plot. He erected long blue sheets on the portion earmarked for the laying of the road. As a result, the works have been temporarily halted.
The widened portion of the road has now been reduced by 50 per cent. The MLA reportedly asked the GHMC Town Planning Wing to issue notice to the plot owner for acquiring the said land. Only after this would the corporation authorities be allowed to carry out the works, he said.
As the road is steep and narrow and witnesses heavy movement of traffic during peak hours, there has been a long-pending demand from the general public for widening the portion for the last two years. The narrow stretch has even turned into a death trap for motorists.
Besides this, a large number of complaints regarding the same were posted on the Twitter page of TRS working president KT Rama Rao when he was a Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development. There were also requests from residents to widen the roads. The former minister, in the previous year, had directed the GHMC Mayor Bonthu Rammohan and GHMC Commissioner M Dana Kishore to initiate steps to widen the Filmnagar to Shaikpet Road from two lanes to four lanes.
The civic body, through a contractor, began laying the roads about three months ago. It even laid a stormwater drain at an estimated cost of `70 lakh, for which there were obstructions from no quarters, including that of the MLA.
After it commenced the process for laying the Vaccum Dewatered Cement Concrete (VDCC) lane road at an estimated cost of `1.1 crore, the GHMC unsuspectingly opened a pandora’s box. The MLA questioned the civic body on why the roads were laid without issuing notices to the plot owner.
MLA denies role
However, when contacted, Gopinath denied any role in stopping the road works and asked what the need was for him to do the same. He said that the GHMC had not, in fact, acquired the land of his close aide and that it belonged to the Jubilee Hills Housing Society.According to him, the civic body wanted to lay the road without following due procedure in acquisition of the land. They were supposed to issue a notice for acquiring the land; however, the Town Planning authorities did not issue any notice to the plot owner, the MLA claimed.
“As an MLA, how can I stop developmental works? The GHMC proceeded with the works without issuing notice to the plot owner. The civic body and the employees involved in the fiasco should be punished’’, he said. Once they issue the acquisition notice, things will move in a legal manner, the MLA said.
Meanwhile, senior GHMC officials told Express that there was some ‘confusion’ regarding their layout. The MLA had called GHMC officials informing that the land in question had to be acquired. Soon, long sheets were erected on the widened portion, said officials.