Lack Of Coordination Between GHMC And R&B To The Fore
Within a few days of announcing that the roads would be spruced up for the bio-diversity summit, the GHMC thought it fit to cut a busy road on Banjara Hills road number three into half sending the traffic into a tizzy on Monday.
That the road cutting was for laying a stormwater pipeline to deal with inundation is a small consolation, considering that the work was done during the day. Incidentally, the road belongs to the Roads & Buildings Department and permission was taken for the work.
Usually, such ‘perfect understanding’ is missing between the departments since they have been fighting to claim ownership to the State capital’s roads even as commuters bear the brunt. While the municipal corporation with over 7,000 km of different kinds of roads to maintain has not exactly covered itself with glory in ensuring a smooth ride, it does carpeting annually, even if unevenly.
Little wonder that GHMC Commissioner M.T. Krishna Babu has set aside as much as Rs.89 crore for road profile corrections. But the R&B has nothing to show, save for uniform bad stretches with life threatening obstacles in the form of remnants of old dividers, shoddy patch work on dug up roads (Begumpet for example), and so on.
Few citizens are aware that the R&B owns road length to an extent of 180 km, including the heavy traffic areas touching Begumpet, Secunderabad, Mehidpatnam, Tarnaka, Uppal, Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills, etc.
Little to showcase
It has about six executive engineers stationed here yet has little to show for work because of little or no sanctions for city roads. “We have even offered to take them under deputation forming a separate wing as we had done for irrigation to ensure the department roads too get a facelift but there are no takers due to union issues,” said municipal officials.
For the last five years, GHMC has been imploring R&B officials to hand over the roads along with Rs.22 crore for maintaining the latter’s roads and several meetings were held between the top bosses. A decision to the effect was also taken at a meeting convened by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy last year which never got implemented, they point out.
In fact, a sore note between both is a pending payment to the civic body for doing up the inner ring road when the international airport at Shamshabad was opened and repairs during VVIP visits. “It is better to have a single road authority for the twin cities for better coordination,” they affirmed.
Interestingly, even though Principal Secretary (R&B) S.P. Singh, had been a GHMC Commissioner and Special Officer, and quite conscious of the problem, an effective solution remains elusive.