The High Court was hearing a petition based on recent reports of an elderly couple using their pension funds to get potholes on city roads fixed.

Waterlogged road in Hyderabad'sKarkhana in October 2020File photo: PTI
news Civic Issues Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - 13:05

The Telangana High Court slammed the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) on Tuesday, July 20, over the poor condition of the roads in the city. The high court bench pulled up the civic body for concentrating more on VIP areas where MLAs, MPs, and bureaucrats reside while ignoring localities where poor people live. The bench comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy were hearing a petition based on recent reports about a senior-citizen couple fixing potholes in the city using their pension funds. “Property tax and other taxes are being paid by all citizens, but unfortunately the GHMC is concentrating more on VIP areas such as MLA and MP colonies and Prashasan Nagar where IAS and IPS officers reside. All other areas have been ignored, leaving people to struggle with horrible potholes on Hyderabad’s roads,” the bench said, according to the Times of India. 

The court told the GHMC that areas prone to waterlogging should’ve been identified beforehand and fixed in time before monsoon, the New Indian Express reported, while asking the civic body how many decades it would take to repair city roads. Appearing on behalf of GHMC, senior counsel S Niranjan Reddy said that the civic body was unable to fix the roads in time due to a lack of funds. When it was pointed out that the Union government had granted funds for the city under the AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) scheme, the GHMC counsel reportedly said that in spite of such financial support, the GHMC was facing a shortage of funds and that it might now have to seek help from the state. 

Read: Road doctor: The Hyderabad man who quit his job to fix potholes with his pension money

The high court bench also stated that the GHMC was undermining the image of the city by neglecting the state of roads, and asked how the city could attract investors with such infrastructure. The court asked GHMC to file a detailed report on the condition of roads in different parts of the city, The Hindu reported. A few days ago, the story of an elderly man Gangadhar Tilak Katnam and his wife Venkateshwari, who have been fixing potholes in the city for the past eleven years with their pension fund, went viral. Gangadhar has become a local legend for his work over the years, and the couple was recently appreciated by Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan for their work. 

Watch: Meet the ‘Road Doctors’ on a mission to fill potholes on Hyderabad roads

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