Hyderabad: Ahead of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections, the residents of Talabchanchalam ward under the Talabkatta division (falling under the Yakutpura Assembly constituency) keep their faith in the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM), led by Hyderabad Lok Sabha member of Parliament Asaduddin Owaisi.
Talabchanchalam is one of the oldest slums that had grown into a major locality spread over 2.5 sq. km with a majority of Muslims in the division, at about 80,000. This division covers areas like Siddiq Nagar, Bibi Bazar, Chacha Garage, Bhavani Nagar, Salam Chowk and Shahjahan lane. It is essentially a backward area, and many live in slums, often dangerously close to nalas.
“The major issue here is nalas beside every house and a poor drainage system. The area is in a bad situation. When we see other areas in the new city (Secunderabad) we feel that we are still living olden days. In every election, the MIM candidate promises us of bringing a centralized and proper drainage system, apart from good roads. But till now no development work has been taken up,” lamented Mohammed Noman Ali, a resident from Talabchanchalam.
The Talabkatta division’s GHMC corporator and Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) are both from the AIMIM, which basically dominates the Old City area (all 7 MLA seats in the area are held by the AIMIM). The current sitting corporator of the division is Nasreen Sultana, who is now contesting from the Kurmaguda division for the upcoming elections.
The Talabkatta area is also famous for its ‘Chadau’ (uphill road) and ‘Utaars’ (downward slope), wherein people live in areas that are uneven with regard to the level of main roads. Low-lying areas or areas that are difficult to reach often make it difficult for them to get access to good roads, sewerage lines and drinking water connections.
“The entire area gets contaminated water and the officials have no permanent solution for this. Several complaints have been lodged with the corporator and water board, but all in vain. Residents must get potable water at least,” said Furqan Ahmed, a resident of Talabchanchalam.
When asked about the meaning of Talabchanchalam people say that earlier this area used to be a talab, a drinking water tank, which has now turned into a nala (sewer line).
“There was a government hospital in area which was converted into the Owaisi Medical center. The corporator has no knowledge about any work or subject. People of the Old City vote for AIMIM for the Owaisi brothers and not for the candidate. Candidates win by bogus votes as well,” alleged Abdul, a local resident.