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GHMC set to expand further & add 52 more grampanchayats in it

HYDERABAD: Greater Hyderabad is all set to expand further with the proposed merger of 52 surrounding grampanchayats into the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. Once the merger happens, the corporation's jurisdiction will spread to about 800 square km (currently spread over 625 sq km), and will catch up with the other leading metros of the country.

Hyderabad is the sixth biggest city in India after Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore. With the addition of these new areas, the city will emerge as a 'giant global player'.

While the government wants to merge the surrounding areas in Greater Hyderabad for all-round development and better infrastructure, especially grampanchayats like Shamshabad which houses the airport, GHMC officials fear the addition of more areas might drain the corporation financially. Now, GHMC gets a meagre revenue from the surrounding areas of the city, but has to pump in more funds for development.

The move to add the new areas comes even as the tenure of the elected bodies in the 52 gram panchayats would expire in August 2011. The government is mulling over various options to get these villages into GHMC fold. Sources in the Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA & UD) department told TOI that the state government is likely to issue a notification by the end of this year and begin the process of inviting suggestions and objections from people of those areas. By the time the process is completed, the term of the elected sarpanches would also end.

The state government also has another option before it whereby it can abolish the grampanchayats in the first quarter of next year and take up the process. However, officials are rooting for the first option to avoid legal wrangles. The Rangareddy district administration has already sent proposals a few months ago to merge 52 grampanchayats in 10 mandals surrounding the city to merge with Greater Hyderabad. Some of the to-be-merged areas include Shamshabad, Almasguda, Boduppal, Meerpet, Kokapet, Nizampet, Medchal, Badangpet, Bandlaguda zagir, Peerzadiguda, Poppalguda, Kompally, Gundla Pochampally, Satamarai, Utupally, Tondupally, Jillelaguda, Jalpally, Kothapet, Nadergul, Pahadisharief, Balapur, Sardarnagar, Peeramchervu, Bachupally, Doolapally, Bahadurpally, Pragatinagar, Injapur, Kuntlur, Manganur, Thattu Annaram, Rampally, Nagaram and Dammaiguda.

When Greater Hyderabad was created in 2007, the officials proposed to merge eight grampanchayats - Shamshabad, Satamrai, Jalpalli, Mamidipalli, Mankhla, Almasguda, Sardarnagar and Ravarala - along with 12 surrounding municipalities in RR district. The MA & UD department had also issued a notification, but the government dropped the idea as there were elected sarpanches for Shamshabad and Almasguda. Source: TOI 6/10/10