Hyderabad: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation’s move to decentralise the operations of its transport wing, which initially helped in cutting down expenditure has boomeranged.
Repairs, fuel, maintenance and other costs all put together, the expenditure which was about Rs 88 crore per year before decentralisation, has now shot up by more than two times to nearly Rs 188 crore per year.
Worried over the trend, the municipal corporation has now decided to monitor entire operations and services of the transport wing from head office, doing away with zonal level approvals and monitoring, which in essence is reverting to how things were earlier. GHMC Enforcement Vigilance and Disaster Management Director Viswajit Kampati has been given the additional charge of Additional Commissioner (Transport) in the municipal corporation.
In January 2016, GHMC had decentralised the vehicle fleet, manpower etc., to zones for administrative convenience, besides cutting down rising expenses and irregularities in maintenance of the fleet. Officials had then claimed that for the financial year 2015-16, the GHMC incurred an expenditure of about Rs 24 crore towards maintenance and repairs of the fleet. The same was reduced to Rs 9.48 crore from January to October 2016, authorities claimed.
Similarly, decentralisation of transport wing vehicles also reduced the fuel consumption from 38,000 litre a day to 24,000 litre a day. For the financial year 2014-15, the fuel expenditure incurred by municipal corporation was Rs 85.50 crore and this was brought down to Rs 43.03 crore during 2015-16 and till January 2017. In the past, expenditure pertaining to vehicle repairs, tyre replacement and even petty repairs were also handled by the head office. This was aiding in many irregularities and consuming lot of time in the file processing.
To address all these issues, GHMC had decentralised the vehicles and their maintenance, to respective zones for effective service and to avoid irregularities. But things have now taken a different turn as the annual expenditure increased by over two times. This, according to sources, was due to mismanagement of expenses at the lower level. The fallout has now forced officials to return to the old practice of monitoring and handling operations from the head office.
The municipal corporation is also introducing a few reforms, including changes in the administrative structure of the wing. For every zone, there will be one Chief Transport Officer, one Assistant Engineer (Finance), one Assistant Engineer (Repairs), one Assistant Engineer (Manpower) and one Assistant Engineer (Administration). This is being done following instructions from GHMC Commissioner M Dana Kishore and Mayor Bonthu Rammohan to ensure accountability and transparency.
More importantly, all files in the wing that were being operated manually are now being digitised and will be processed in the e-office, leaving no scope for any irregularity, said Kampati, adding that this would also help in analysing costs incurred in each zone, utility of fleet and manpower and initiate measures accordingly.