Ranga Reddy: Understaffed HMDA puts public to hardships
The Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) has been understaffed for the last 18 years, all thanks to the State government reluctance in hiring new staff
Ranga Reddy: The Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) has been understaffed for the last 18 years, all thanks to the State government reluctance in hiring new staff. While the need of appointing new staff members has been ignored, the workload on the present employees has been increased significantly in the last few years with large scale layouts, land pooling projects on hundreds of acres and the work of enumerating new townships on all sides of the city calling for their attention.
Further, the HMDA has no full-fledged commissioner for the last many years and with the handing over of responsibilities to in-charges, there is a serious delay in works. While there are only 190 regular employees, the rest are on deputation, outsourcing and contract staff. A lot of work has been pending as the commissioner is unable to attend regularly. Most of the key decision making posts are filled with in-charge deputations which are not vacant.
In the last several years, the revenue has also increased as the HMDA increased its range. It was not possible to hire employees in an appropriate manner due to which development works were not completed as expected. Balanagar flyover construction, Batasingaram, Mangalapally Logistics Parks, pond development as part of lake protection, Gandipet, Hussain Sagar Development, Lake View Front Parks, Kokapet Venture Development works are still pending.
While these works are overseen by the engineering department, there are more than 50 vacancies in this department. With the expansion of the Greater Hyderabad range, huge ventures are springing up in the suburbs as well. There are not enough staff to supervise these works. While the process continues online, people have to make rounds to the offices for files clearance. If the officers are questioned about the delay, they are pointing towards staff crunch.
In 2003, the then government sanctioned 600 posts in HMDA. It has spread to almost seven districts in the state. In addition, large scale constructions are being taken up in the suburbs, whose permissions are still pending. But no matter how extensive the HMDA radar is, it is not raising employees at the same level.
In 2003, a total of 600 posts were sanctioned, including 334 posts for Administration and Accounts, 110 for Development, 110 for Planning, 37 for Urban Forestry and 9 for Enforcement. But it is still struggling with 359 employees with no filling of vacancies till date.