Has the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) proved once again that the language they hear loudest and clearest, is that of gimmicks and political irreverence? Late on Wednesday night, the municipal body silently covered up potholes at the KPHB colony and Balaji Nagar – but only after opposition party members created a scene by putting up pictures of Telangana Municipal Minister KT Rama Rao and Kukatpally MLA, Madhavaram Krishna Rao on the potholes.
This comes after multiple instances of roads being fixed after they named after KTR – who is also Chief Minister KCR’s son – and US President Trump’s daughter Ivanka, whose visit to Hyderabad a few months back had set in motion a series of ‘fixes’ in the state.
"People are fed up of such potholes," says S Satish Reddy, Kukatpally constituency president for Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee who led the political stunt placing pictures of the ruling party leaders on potholes, to serve as a warning for his constituents.
"They came last night and put concrete on the road but said they will be able to build a proper road only after the monsoon is over. We have been asking them to fix the road for over three months but officials say they need a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the waterworks department to finish the job," he added.
"After it rains, the road stays waterlogged for days and no one comes to clear up the area of the garbage that gets mixed with the rainwater. This gives out a stench and eventually mosquitoes breed there," Satish said.
Over a year has passed since Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao gave out a stern warning to officials over the poor quality of roads in the state. He had in 2017 threatened "stringent action" if any potholes were found in Telangana after June 1.
KT Rama Rao, too, has, time and again at his review meetings lambasted officials concerned for poor roads, as the image of poor roads in Hyderabad affected the image of the city aspiring to be an IT and pharma hub.
Earlier in May, Congress workers from Marredpally area repaired a stretch of damaged road by themselves and name it ‘KTR-Ivanka Trump Road’ to shame the government. GHMC officials later stepped in to fix the road.