GUNTUR: Decks have been finally cleared for Guntur Municipal Corporation (GMC) to get an elected governing council after 11 years. While the prolonged court cases over the merger of neighbouring villages had delayed the elections to the civic body by over eight years, a lack of decisions from the previous government resulted in another three years’ delay. The absence of an elected governing council had left the entire civic infrastructure in a poor state.

Former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu had promised to create world class infrastructure in Guntur and Vijayawada to act as growth engines to the nascent capital city, Amaravati. His plans and promises made locals of Guntur city hoping for a boost to the existing civic infrastructure but the city was left with potholes on roads and unfinished under ground drainage (UGD) systems by the time assembly elections rolled in.
The UGD scheme which was launched with a lot of hope and anticipation had caused irreparable damage to the city infrastructure as the works were commissioned without proper planning. Instead of taking up the project in a phased manner, the TDP government directed the contractor to launch the works simultaneously across the city to showcase it as its achievement by the general elections.
Although the government wanted it to be completed by 2018, the contractor failed to reach the target. Almost 1100 kilometres of city roads had been dug to lay UGD. The contractor could not complete not a single Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) of the planned five.
Suspecting foul play in the award of the contracts, the YSRC government stalled the UGD project for nearly 18 months. The city witnessed major development when Kanna Lakshminarayana was minister in the Congress governments for about a decade. As his son Nagaraju was elected as mayor in 2005, Kanna got several big-ticket projects including a comprehensive drinking water scheme worth Rs 400 crore.

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