Hyderabad: GHMC neglecting Old City, alleges Congress leader

Hyderabad: District Congress Committee (DCC) president Sameer Waliullah on Friday accused the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) of neglecting the Old City in sanctioning development works. He demanded that the GHMC release a white paper on the ward-wise or zone-wise collection of revenues from all sources and also the zone-wise details of the spending done in the last eight years.

“GHMC Standing Committee in its last meeting held on 4th January approved nine proposals. However, not a single proposal was for the South Zone (Old City). Of 150 wards, as many as 43 wards are in the Old City of Hyderabad. However, the South Zone/Charminar Zone is not being given its due share in the GHMC budget,” Sameer Waliullah said in a media statement.

The Congress leader alleged that a major portion of the GHMC budget was being spent on the municipal wards in Hyderabad’s outskirts while completely neglecting the Old City of Hyderabad. He added that the GHMC did not take up any new project in the last 4-5 years.

Waliullah also claimed that the expansion works on some roads in the Old City have been delayed for more than four years. “This discriminating attitude towards the Old City is highly intolerable,” he said. He also alleged that the Congress leader said that some GHMC officials have created a false impression that the people of Old City do not pay any taxes or contribute to the corporation’s revenue.

“These false perceptions have been created to justify the neglect of the Old City,” he stated. However, he also said it might be true that the Charminar Zone gets the least collection in terms of property tax from the GHMC. The Congress leader also said that it was wrong on the part of GHMC to expect revenues from an area where no major development projects were taken up in the last eight years.

“In the Early Bird scheme, the GHMC collected about Rs. 741.35 crores of Property Tax in April 2022. The least contribution of Rs. 69.64 crore was from the Charminar zone. It was alleged that although the Old City area was densely populated, it has many unregistered properties and therefore, its contribution to Property Tax was the least. Consequently, the GHMC stopped sanctioning new projects for the Old City. This approach is not acceptable. The GHMC should focus more on areas with less income as they need better infrastructure for growth,” he said.