Hyderabad: Things have not been that peaceful in the Secunderabad Cantonment of late. If the closure of several roads is one issue that is still smoldering between civilians and the Local Military Authority, the issue of defence land for two skyways proposed by the State government too is hanging in air.
And it is at this juncture that G Sayanna, a seasoned politician but contesting on a TRS ticket for the first time, is seeking re-election from the constituency, which has always been a tricky one for legislators, courtesy the control of the Defence Ministry on the area.
“When the Cantonment Board has to depend on the Defence Ministry and the Defence Estates headquarters in Pune for almost everything, getting civic issues solved here is not that easy, but with the support of the State government, we have been able to make a lot of changes in the last few years,” says Sayanna, who had won by 3,275 votes in 2014 when he contested on a Telugu Desam ticket.
The Secunderabad Cantonment, one of the largest in the country, has a population of about 3.5 lakh to four lakh, and though the voter strength this time has dropped to around 2.3 lakh from 2.48 lakh in 2014, Sayanna is confident of victory.
A resident of the area for over two decades, Sayanna has been going around the cantonment for more than a month now, with the response from the public being ‘quite encouraging’ in his words. From laying drainage lines to constructing community halls and ensuring drinking water in the region perennially plagued by water shortage, a lot of work has been done and is still going on, he tells voters who enthusiastically welcome him as he goes around areas like Balamrai and Marredpally.
Buoyed by the response to the road show IT Minister K T Rama Rao took out in the area on Thursday as well, Sayanna tells them that he along with the State government is actively pursuing the handing over of defence land to slum dwellers who have been living on the land for several years in areas like Nehru Centenary Basti, 108 Bazaar, Mudfort, Saibaba Huts and Nandamuri Nagar.
It was the TRS government that helped in solving the water shortage crisis to a major extent, with the government waiving off around Rs 16 crore that the Cantonment Board owed the Water Board and ensuring enhanced supply of water in the cantonment areas.
The government also got the HMDA to clean up the Ramanakunta Lake at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore, while the construction of 1,000 out of 1,500 houses under the 2BHK scheme was fast progressing in areas like Marredpally, Rasoolpura, Mudfort, Shastri Nagar in Trimulgherry and so on, he adds.