Civic body meet goes down the nala

■ Cor­po­ra­tors blame GHMC for de­lay­ing nala widen­ing; babus say po­lit­i­cal will needed

Deccan Chronicle - - City - MADDY DEEKSHITH | DC

The is­sue of much-de­layed widen­ing of nalas turned a rou­tine GHMC meet­ing on Satur­day into a stormy af­fair, with cor­po­ra­tors grilling of­fi­cials who hit back say­ing po­lit­i­cal will was needed to carry out the work.

The cor­po­ra­tion has re­moved en­croach­ments on just 58 km of the to­tal nala length of 390 km, in 14 years.

Riyasath­na­gar cor­po­ra­tor Mirza Mustafa Saleem Baig raised the is­sue and charged the of­fi­cials with de­lib­er­ately de­lay­ing the work though ten­ders had been fi­nalised.

He was backed by cor­po­ra­tors from the other par­ties, who said the de­lay was caus­ing in­un­da­tion of their con­stituen­cies dur­ing the mon­soon. Of­fi­cials were only par­tic­i­pat­ing in res­cue op­er­a­tions rather solv­ing the prob­lem, a cor­po­ra­tor said. They said town plan­ning of­fi­cials who served no­tices on nala en­croach­ers never re­turned to de­mol­ish the struc­tures.

Re­ply­ing to the charges, GHMC Chief En­gi­neer R. Srid­har said the cor­po­ra­tion’s orig­i­nal plan would have af­fected 28,000 struc­tures. After re­vis­ing the buf­fer zone, the cor­po­ra­tion re­duced the num­ber of en­croach­ments to be af­fected to 12,153.

As an emer­gency mea­sure, he said, the GHMC had de­cided to re­move en­croach­ments on 46 crit­i­cal bot­tle­necks on 15.9km of nalas at an es­ti­mated cost of `230 crore.

Mr Srid­har said the cor­po­ra­tion has given work or­ders to clear 40 bot­tle­necks and had to float ten­ders for the rest. Of the

40, 13 con­trac­tors had closed the ten­ders be­cause of­fi­cials had not re­moved en­croach­ments. Work was in progress at

18 spots, and had to com­mence in nine.

Mr Srid­har said the town plan­ning wing had re­moved 184 en­croach­ments in 18 months. He said that con­trac­tors had walked out of the project stat­ing that it was not vi­able for them.

Re­gard­ing de­lay in nala de­silt­ing work, GHMC com­mis­sioner M. Dana Kishore said it was caused by con­trac­tors re­fus­ing to take up the works.

He said that 60 per cent of the silt re­moved from the nalas con­tained garbage which would not ben­e­fit the con­trac­tor.

He said the con­trac­tors had been ask­ing for a rate in­crease as they had to trans­fer the silt to the Jawa­har­na­gar dump­ing yard. He said the GHMC would seek the gov­ern­ment help and asked leg­is­la­tors and MLCs to raise the is­sue in the Leg­is­la­ture. He said the cor­po­ra­tion would con­duct a spe­cial drive on al­ter­nate Sun­days to col­lect trash to pre­vent their be­ing dumped in the nalas.

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