Telangana Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) Minister KT Rama Rao has handed over the oversight and maintenance of the sewerage system at the peripheral areas of Hyderabad back to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). In February, this had been handed over to the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB), but several GHMC corporators then complained.
According to reports, GHMC corporators complained to KTR that the HMWSSB was taking time to resolve issues of sewage and the move was also resulting in inter-departmental coordination issues, which was leaving local citizens irked.
In February this year, KTR decided to hand over the operation and maintenance of the sewage system in the peripheral areas to the HMWSSB, as it had the necessary infrastructure in place like mini-jetting machines and safety equipment for workers.
Opening a toll free number 155313 for complaints of open manholes, overflowing sewage etc, officials had said that the GHMC would extend Rs 8.3 crore per month towards the expenditure of the HMWSSB for this purpose.
However, with GHMC elections approaching and the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) keen to sweep the polls, it seems that the move has been reversed due to public sentiment.
While the election schedule is yet to be announced, the State Election Commission (SEC) has already begun deliberations. Earlier this week, the SEC said that elections will be conducted with ballot boxes and ballot paper and not Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), in view of the prevailing COVID-19 situation.
"In all the stages, a huge number of engineers deputed by manufacturers, representatives of political parties and election staff are involved. A huge number of unskilled labour will be deployed for cleaning, unpacking and packing EVMs and VVPATs in a closed environment. During the COVID-19 pandemic situation, it is felt that conduct of these activities involve high risk of community spread of COVID-19, when compared to use of Ballot Boxes, " the release said.