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Rajendranagar set to turn the corner

By J.S. Ifthekhar

HYDERABAD, DEC. 23. Will things start looking up for the cash-strapped Rajendranagar Municipality?

Residents of this civic body, the poorest among the nine municipalities skirting the State capital, are eagerly looking forward to basic amenities becoming a reality.

`Rajiv Nagara Bata', the Chief Minister's pet programme, being launched here on January 2, is expected to help the municipality turn a new life. A number of programmes aimed at providing roads, drainage, water and streetlights are lined up for inauguration.

Though a first grade municipality, Rajendranagar's development leaves a lot to be desired. With slum-dwellers accounting for more than 60 per cent of its population, the civic body is faced with mounting problems.

Fund crunch

The municipality has the dubious distinction of having a string of national institutions and also a large number of poor settlements without any basic civic amenities. Thanks to merger of nine panchayats and migration of the poor from surrounding villages, there are 23 notified and 22 un-notified slums here. But poor finances of the municipality do not permit it to take up any developmental work. Rajendernagar has revenue of Rs. 6 crores, which is barely sufficient to meet its expenditure.

Slums' development

Plans are afoot to bring un-notified slums under the notified category. The Chief Minister is expected to make an announcement to this effect.

Also, a scheme to develop five slums under the Andhra Pradesh Urban Service for Poor (APUSP), a British-assisted programme, will the launched. In the first phase, weaker section colonies at Attapur, Rambagh, Shivrampally, Mailardevpally and Madina Masjid area in Hasan Nagar will be developed at an estimated cost of Rs. 3.3 crores, according to B.V. Gangadhar Reddy, Commissioner of the municipality.

The World Bank-aided Critical Infrastructure Investment Plan will also be launched. The Rs. 32-crore plan aims at providing basic amenities in the entire 55 sq. km area of the municipality in the next five years.

Other programmes on the anvil are development of a park at Shiva Nagar at a cost of Rs. 50 lakhs by the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority, laying of a foundation stone for a Road Under Bridge near the railway track on the old Kurnool road by the Road and Buildings Department and release of piped water to Mailardevpally, Gaganpahad and Budvel railway station.

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