The scaled-down merger of villages with the GHMC suffered a further setback, with the proposal of merging seven surrounding villages being put on hold after some ministers urged the chief minister to do so. Earlier, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy had given approval for the merger of seven villages. But, later at the Cabinet meeting, some ministers suggested the inclusion of some more villages, keeping in view the long-term implications. Originally, around 54 gram panchayats were listed. But due to objections from some MLAs and ministers, it was reduced to 14 villages. Later, it was decided to merge only seven villages — Puppalguda, Madikonda, Boduppal, Peerzadaguda, Jawaharnagar, Parvatapur and Nizampet. Officials forwarded the proposal to the CM, but later, when the idea was put forward in front of the ministers, no conclusion could be reached.
According to officials, around 14 villages from Ranga Reddy district and seven villages from Medak district are in the list proposed by the ministers during the recent Cabinet meeting. “One of the ministers proposed three or four more villages. The decision about merging villages will be taken within a couple of days,” says a higher official. If the government approves this proposal, delimitation of the wards will follow. The GHMC will be writing to the Election Commission and notification process would resume for inclusion of new villages. Currently, the GHMC has 100 wards from the twin cities and 50 from the outskirts. After delimitation, the outskirts may have 80 and the core City will have 70 wards. As the current administration continues for another one and half years, the newly merged villages are likely to be controlled by a special official. Each ward in the GHMC has between 30,000 to 40,000 voters on an average. After the merger of new villages, the number of voters in each ward may increase.