The administration which is pulling out all stops to welcome COP-11 delegates, seems to have kept Old City out of the grand gala show. The beautification drive that has gained a visibly frantic pace in other parts of the city is still to shift its scene to the Old City. And now GHMC officials say that if work taken up is not completed before the September 25 deadline, they would have no option but to abandon it mid-way.
Officials said they have deployed all contractors near the CoP-11 venue in areas such as Hi-Tec City, Jubilee Hills and Ba njara Hills and would carry out work in the Old City only later.
According to GHMC officials, Bahadurpura took a chunk of the amount sanctioned for the South Zone - Rs 4.34 crore of the Rs 15 crore - last month but to little effect. GHMC officials admitted that the entire scope of work couldn't be carried out in the area due to time constraint. Pradeep Reddy, executive engineer, GHMC said, "We will do whatever we can till the September 25 deadline. Contractors will be instructed to move equipment to the South Zone later this week. The Bahadurpura area has proved to be difficult because we are unable to remove encroachments and will not be pursuing the matter further if it is unfeasible. The footpath and drain strengthening work is underway there."
Lethargic attempts of the GHMC to improve infrastructure in the Old City by setting up pots 'to add a green element' in key corridors of COP - 11 is in stark contrast to the large scale re-carpeting of roads, murals on flyovers and tree plantations in other areas. Saleem Khan, an ITeS professional from Mir Alam Mandi noted the glaring difference in activities before COP - 11 in the Old City and the new city. "We were hoping that the crumbling civic infrastructure here would improve on account of the biodiversity summit. Civic bodies have done no substantial work and whatever work has been done is an eyewash," he rued.
Apart from scanty patchwork in Darul Shifa, Chaderghat and Faluknuma-Aliabad stretch, no significant work has been taken up. A GHMC official noted that with only a week left for the deadline it would take a miracle to finish work in the COP - 11 corridors of Charminar to Chandrayangutta via Falaknuma, Puranapul to Charminar via Koka Ki Tatti, Purana Pul to Miralam and Purana Pul to Khairtabad via High Court and Begum Bazar.
A GHMC official requesting anonymity said, "If the authorities were to bring the conference to the Taj Falaknuma, all development would be in the Old City. The corridors in the South Zone are densely populated. Nevertheless, we have given priority to civic infrastructure."