Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao led the Swachh Hyderabad mission to make the city clean. However, RTI query reveals that a large part of the money was spent in publicity, funding official tours and even high-end meetings by Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation.
According to RTI revelation –
- Over Rs 1 crore was spent on the launch program of Swachh Hyderabad-Swachh Telangana Mission
- Over Rs 13 lakh spent on MLAs tour to Delhi and Nagpur to study solid waste management
- Rs 34 lakh spent on hoardings and flex for Swachh Hyderabad campaign
- Rs 40 lakh spent on t-shirts and caps used in campaigning
- Over Rs 9 lakh spent of AC buses for tours.
These replies to an RTI query over the expenditure by Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation for Swachh Hyderabad campaign has raised several questions. In May 2015, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao started Swachh Hyderabad campaign and since then crores of rupees have been spent. RTI activist Sambi Reddy has slammed the government and the municipal body for unnecessary expenditures in the name of cleanliness drive.
Speaking to CNN-IBN, Sambi Reddy said, "Money for Swachh Bharat mission was given to construct toilets, solid waste management plants, but not a single toilet has been constructed in the city. Government is spending it on publicity and luxury.”
GHMC is facing severe criticism. Instead of constructing new toilets, GHMC has placed mobile plastic toilets in few localities. Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation received over Rs 7 crore funds under the Swachh Bharat-Swachh Hyderabad mission. However, GHMC claims that awareness drives are important to make the campaign successful.
Reacting to the same, Commissioner of GHMC Janardhan Reddy said, “it is important to educate people. People do not know about waste management informing people to reuse and recycle waste cannot be called publicity. It is needed.”
Hyderabad is selected as one of the 75 major cities to be rated for cleanliness in the survey that will be conducted by Centre. Telangana government plans to distribute two dustbins to every household for collecting dry and wet garbage separately as a part of waste management initiative. What is needed are such on ground initiatives that can change the face of the city.
The Chief Minister KCR has big plans to improve the civic infrastructure in order to make Hyderabad an international city. But the mission can only be achieved with judicious use of money feel the residents of twin cities.