Epicentre of politics, yet eluded by development

Epicentre of politics, yet eluded by development
Highlights

Sangareddy town which is located close to Hyderabad, has been the epicentre of political activity, as it is frequented by people’s representatives all the time.

Sangareddy: Sangareddy town which is located close to Hyderabad, has been the epicentre of political activity, as it is frequented by people’s representatives all the time. From the moment a person enters the town, one may be amazed by the kind of transformation it has undergone in the past decade or so. However, the so-called ‘development’ seems to be elusive for Pothireddipally gram panchayat, where ironically, the District Collectorate is located.

The lands under the gram panchayat used to be cultivated by the farmers of Pothireddipally even a decade ago. Apartment complexes, textile showrooms, automobile showrooms, multi-cuisine restaurants, banks and other business establishments have sprouted on these agricultural lands, providing a bird’s eye view of socio-economic transformation of the village. A closer look at the roads reveals a dirty and slippery truth of how thousands of residents living there are suffering due to roads not being laid in the colonies.

Kethaki Sanghameshwar Nagar is one such colony where around 13 apartment complexes were built in the past decade or so. Around 1500 residents presently live in 350 flats in the colony. Till today, there is no road in the colony. Since three years the residents (mostly government employees) have been literally begging the district administration to build roads in the colony but with no response.

Vexed with the indifferent attitude of the gram panchayat in addressing the problem; the colony residents thought about contributing funds themselves to build roads through their colony’s welfare association. That idea didn’t go well with some of the residents, leaving them begging at the gram panchayat’s doorsteps once again.

“The gram panchayat people tell us that about Rs 60-80 lakh are outstanding to be payable to contractors of various works and that there is no money left with them for taking up any works,” said Srisailam Goud, General Secretary of the welfare association. The residents who had stopped paying property taxes since three years as a form of protest, had cleared payment of taxes to the tune of Rs 6 lakh this year, after the gram panchayat promised to lay a CC road.

After many representations and requests, finally the residents managed to get into an agreement with the administration that 60 per cent of the estimated Rs 25 lakh would be contributed from the MLAs fund and 40 per cent from the gram panchayat’s fund. The residents also found a contractor who would not insist on immediate payment of bills for the road work.

Summer has passed and the monsoons have arrived to make life miserable for the residents. After every rain the muddy roads get inundated with water, tossing motorists and pedestrians into the potholes containing stagnated rainwater. Children and senior citizens are the worst sufferers. Water doesn’t leave even three days after a good rain.

There is a badminton court and a children’s play area built by the welfare association. But during rains, sewage flows out of the faulty drainage system and enters the badminton court, posing a grave health hazard for children who play near the colony’s park. There is also a children’s play school located right next to the badminton court.

People of Sangareddy have made the main road at the entrance of the colony a garbage dump yard. Despite the residents of Kethaki Sanghameshwar Nagar complaining to the district administration several times, the problem still persists. Whenever it rains, that part of the main road gets inundated with water mixing with the garbage.

This toxic mixture flows into the colony, filling potholes in the muddy roads where children play. Absence of roads is not the problem of this colony alone. Entire Pothireddipally gram panchayat has the same problem. There is a CC road right in front of the Sarpanch’s house, but all the adjacent lanes have no roads.

Root of the problem lies in the fact that despite lying within the town’s limits, Pothireddipally has not been merged with Sangareddy municipality yet. According to locals, past legislators have had real estate interests in the gram panchayat, due to which they prevented attempts to merge the gram panchayat with the municipality.

But the residents of Kethaki Sanghameshwar Nagar who have seen political and administrative apathy for several years now, it really doesn’t matter whether their colony is under gram panchayat or municipality, because they have lost all hopes on the district administration now. “We have brought the Sarpanch, officials and other stakeholders to our colony and showed them how we are suffering. What else can we do?” asked Srisailam Goud.

By Vivek Bhoomi

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