With Hyderabad’s roads being privatised, GHMC will no longer be responsible for the city’s bad roads. The road network connectivity will be handed over to a private company for maintenance and restoration with every road having a Geo Tag and a unique number. GHMC, however, will still own the roads. Hyderabad has 9,099 km of roads of which 4,173 km are bitumen (BT) roads. Maintaining these roads cost the GHMC Rs 400 crore yearly. Once privatised, the company will be held responsible for damages and restoration. Road cutting and repairs will be handed over to a single agency.
GHMC authorities gave in-principle approval for privatising roads during a daylong review on Monday. The city’s roads will be divided into zones depending on traffic and geography. The divisions will be done by GHMC engineers and a city traffic team. Each zone will be a “unit” and GHMC will fix fees, called Standard Schedule Rate (SSR), per unit. After the rates are fixed, GHMC will invite companies, evaluate their financial strength and review works, based on which eligible companies will be empanelled and the roads handed over to them for maintenance and restoration. Initially, the GHMC will allocate two-year contracts and according to the quality of work, the same will be extended to 10 years. “During this period, the company has to take care of all repairs and laying of new roads as per the Standard Schedule Rates. With this the GHMC will not have to inspect the roads.
“Similar to national highways and expressways, private companies will also be responsible for signage boards,” said minister for MA& UD K.T. Rama Rao. Since GHMC will continue to own the roads, private agencies will have to seek permission for road digging from GHMC. However, the companies maintaining the roads will be part of the permission process. And it will be the maintenance company that will carry out the works and charge the agency digging up roads for their works. There won’t be any third party involved.
The 9,099 km of city roads will have unique numbers. To lodge complaints, one will just need to take a picture, geo tag it and send the link to the GHMC. The road will be identified with the help of the geo tag and the required repairs will be carried out. This is, however, not the first time that inviting private players to maintain roads has been planned. In 2008, too, GHMC had planned to privatise the maintenance of 200 km of main roads in the city. The corporation had then planned that areas like Banjara Hills and Koti would be taken care of and spruced up on a daily basis.