The GHMC estates department, if handled properly, could make the City’s corporation one of the richest in the country.
Amongst the various departments under GHMC, the estates department which deals with property worth crores of rupees continues to remain the most neglected. If properly managed, Hyderabad would be richest amongst all the Corporations of the country.
With 272 identified leasable properties, 18 market spaces and hundreds of unidentified properties in various parts of the City, the GHMC can become a sustainable government institution and a role model.
But unfortunately, even after expiry of their lease, many businessmen continue to hold properties, while some others pay a meagre fee. Several market spaces like Monda Market remain under the control of the private parties. Hundreds of properties across areas of Old City and prime localities like Jubilee Hills are yet to be identified and delineated.
According to officials, one of the reasons for indifference meted out by the department was its close association, with the town planning section.
“About 50 per cent of the files continue to remain with the town planing department, as the estate department was controlled by the town planning officials,” recalls the official.
The files were relocated several times during the last two decades. Another reason cited is the low priority given to the estate officials, even if he or she is holding a senior position.
The neglect can be measured by the fact that there are only few employees working under the additional commissioner, and several posts are vacant.
With two clerical level officials, two attenders and a PA, the IAS official has to manage the thousands of acres of property.
Sometimes, it is said, the entire department rests with one old employee, an attender, the only one who knows, which file exists where. “I shall be taking up the issue with the commissioner after the CoP-11. Let us see if the Standing Committee will support us,” says the additional commissioner, GD Priyadarshini.