Hyderabad District Congress Committee (DCC) President Sameer Waliullah has accused the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) of neglecting the Old City in sanctioning development works.
“GHMC Standing Committee, in its last meeting held on January 4 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 on Friday.
Sameer Waliullah 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 said the GHMC did not take up any new project in the last 4-5 years.
Further, he said that the works on the expansion of 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.
The Congress leader said 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 said it might be true that the Charminar Zone gets the least collection in terms of Property Tax. But thousands of shops located in the Old City make a huge contribution through GST and other taxes. Further, he said 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.
Sameer Waliullah 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. He announced that the Congress party would soon compile a list of promises made by the TRS (now BRS) Government for the development of Old City along with their status reports.