‘Midnight masala’ at GHMC’

Hyderabad, Nov. 9: The formation of Greater Hyderabad has surely imposed a greater workload on civic officials. Working during the day was itself difficult for many middle-level officials, but now they are forced to work at night as well. Right from the commissioner to additional commissioners and deputy commissioners, most officials are out in the field inspecting ongoing works at various places in city.

Sometimes the inspection tours stretch well past the midnight. The trend of night inspections had been started by the former commissioner, Dr C.V.S.K. Sarma, who is now the principal secretary (municipal administration and urban development).

He preferred to conduct inspections at night so that he did not miss working hours during the day. Officials used to grumble about being asked to go out for inspections at night, but Dr Sarma was insistent and led by example. He would regularly conduct night inspections and would be back in the office early in the morning.

This robbed many officials of their “beauty sleep” and they would come back to the office bleary-eyed in the morning. The new process was christened “midnight masala” by mediapersons. Dr Sarma conducted over 50 night inspections during his tenure and they resulted in suspension of a couple of contractors and officials for non-functioning of street lights.

When Dr. C.V.S.K. Sarma was replaced by Mr S.P. Singh as the GHMC commi-ssioner, officials thought that the night inspections had come to an end. But their joy was short lived. Mr Singh too continued the night visits and Mr Praveen Prakash, who was posted as special commissioner recently, is making field visits round the clock. Officials are now resigned to the fact that “midnight masala” is here to stay.