Frequent change of guard takes toll on Warangal’s growth

Frequent change of guard takes toll on Warangal’s growth
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Frequent chopping and changing of Municipal Commissioners appears to be casting its shadow on development of the triplecities Warangal, Hanamkonda and Kazipet

Warangal: Frequent chopping and changing of Municipal Commissioners appears to be casting its shadow on development of the triple-cities – Warangal, Hanamkonda and Kazipet.

Warangal, which had a senior grade municipality was declared as Municipal Corporation on August 18, 1994. After the formation of Telangana, considering the historical and tourism significance of the second largest city in the State, the State Government upgraded it as the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) on January 28, 2015.

N Ravi Kiran, who assumed charge on January 20, is the fifth Commissioner since the corporation got the ‘Greater’ tag. After Sarfaraz Ahmad the first Commissioner of the Greater Warangal was elevated to the rank of District Collector, Shahid Massod was given full additional charge for a brief period. Thereafter, Sruthi Ozha held the post for about one year and three months. Succeeding her was VP Gautham. The young officer didn’t last long either as he had to make way for incumbent Ravi Kiran after holding the post for just 10 months.

The most alarming fact is that the denizens have so far seen 25 Commissioners working for Warangal Municipal Corporation in 21 years; this in addition to the five officers after the city had got ‘Greater’ tag. In all, Warangal has seen 30 Commissioners beginning with Shalini Mishra under whose tenure metamorphosis of the city had started. Incidentally, she is the only officer to last more than two years in the office, precisely two years and four months.

Indeed it is a challenge for the civic body to look after the needs of the city which has a population of around 10 lakh in addition to a couple of lakh floating population. The appointment of a non-IAS cadre officer for a city like Warangal has also come in for strong criticism.

“With the government chopping and changing Commissioners frequently, development of the city has come to a nought,” Sunkari Prashanth, the founder president of Jwala, a NGO working for the eradication of corruption, told The Hans India. He pointed out that whenever a new officer takes charge, he/she needs time to understand the problems of the denizens and developmental activities taking place in the Corporation.

Referring to the ongoing developmental works under Smart City Project, Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Rs 300 crore per annum special development funds from the State Government, Lok Satta Udyama Samstha State advisor P Kodandarama Rao found fault with the government for meddling with the administration without any proper reason.

“The uncalled-for transfers like that of VP Gautham, dents the confidence of the officials. His transfer came as a shock at a time when he was doing a pretty good job speeding up the developmental works,” Rao said.

“With some politicos calling the shots, it is difficult for the officials to work with conviction. It needs to be changed. The government should not cave in under political pressure as it will have a profound impact on development of the city,” Thirunahri Seshu, the convener of the Civil Societies Joint Action Committee (JAC), said.

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