Dr B Janardhan Reddy, Commissioner, GHMC
At our recently held Smart Urbanation Summit organised by Smart Cities Council India, Dr B Janardhan Reddy, Commissioner, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), shared more on the city's growth chart, smart plans and opportunities in conversation with SHRIYAL SETHUMADHAVAN and RAHUL KAMAT.
Please share the current status of Hyderabad. How has the city been progressing?
Hyderabad is the lifeline for Telangana and contributes over 65 per cent of the states GDP. Exemplary administrative tools have been in place, owing to which the city has been ranked best in ease of doing business. Hyderabad has been ranked on top positions and fared well in programmes including the Swachh Bharat Mission. We also have DPMS, an online building permission system where you can just apply online without any human interface and get all your permissions within 21 days; it is a time-bound programme that is hassle-free. A citizen's charter has been evolved.
Tell us about one prominent element adopted by the city to be smarter.
Hyderabad is the fastest city to have adopted LED. Within seven months, we were able to replace over 95 per cent of the city lights. This initiative has resulted in 55 per cent savings compared to traditional lighting and 98 per cent illumination.
Tell us about upcoming projects in the city.
A lot of projects, such as the strategic road development project, are on this will continue for the next four to five years. Hyderabad Road Development Corporation has been formed, under which major roads have been taken up. Also, the Musi River Front Development Corporation has been formed with plans to develop the river. Lake development programmes are also on the anvil and the government has initiated various projects for lake development activities.
Tell us about the amount budgeted towards key projects.
For housing, the amount budgeted for Hyderabad is around Rs 85 billion. Around 1 lakh houses are being built in a period of one to one-and-a-half years. This is among the largest in the world. Such projects also create huge employment opportunities. This apart, we have a plethora of technologies and ongoing projects.
You recently raised funds through bonds. Tell us more
Hyderabad is the first in South India and the second in the country to raise funds through bonds. In 2002-03, we had gone in for municipal bonds; we went in for bonds again in January and February 2017. We are going to raise around Rs 10 billion through municipal bonds and strategic road development programmes.
What are current opportunities in the city?
In Hyderabad, you take a sector and there is an opportunity, whether it is tech-savvy and IT-based or non IT-based or construction or lake development or sports or park development or street lights! We are also going in for electric vehicles (EVs). Shortly, we will have an alliance with EESL and introduce EVs for offices.
What efforts are you taking to improve financial health?
We have a conducive and hassle-free environment and the quickest disposal and permissions are offered on a case-to-case basis. In GHMC, we have got the bonds and are on our toes to ensure financial discipline.