For years, the joke went that Hyderabad was home to the USA. And this USA made its presence felt with ugly hoardings, with not an inch to spare.
On Tuesday, the United States of Ameerpet underwent a transformation. This area in the western part of Hyderabad is home to coaching centres that show dreams of a visa to Silicon Valley to students and aggressively advertise their courses. Over a period of time, many other kinds of shops selling electronic goods, canteens, xerox shops and other odd jobs had sprung up acting as an ancillary industry to the teaching industry. Their billboards had reduced Ameerpet to an eyesore, like filth on walls.
As part of a clean-up operation, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) removed close to 20000 illegal hoardings from buildings in the area. GHMC Additional Commissioner Musharraf Ali Faruqui said it was a 12-hour long operation that involved a manpower of 300 and 30 vehicles and four JCBs. The drive to clean up will continue on Wednesday as well.
The initiative to undertake this drive came after the fire accident at a coaching institute in Surat last month where 20 students died.
The GHMC will now try to regulate the advertising in this part of Hyderabad, allowing space only to those who take prior permission.
(Photos courtesy : Musharraf Ali Faruqui)