Hyderabad: The State government is working on the long-term goal of transforming all towns in the State into happy livable and lovable cities, in the long run, Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister K T Rama Rao announced on Wednesday.
As part of these efforts, the Municipal Administration and Urban Development department is now making all efforts to bring out a comprehensive waste management policy, which will cover all types of urban waste and will be applicable to all ULBs including Hyderabad. The initiative comes close on the heels of the new Municipal Act aimed at strengthening all ULBs in the State.
Rama Rao, who released the department’s annual performance report for 2019-20 at his camp office here, said the State government had already initiated steps to change the face of towns, especially those formed under the new Municipal Act. The government, he said, was also trying to increase the participation of citizens in various programmes to ensure speedy growth. “The department will focus on basic amenities that people need in the cities,” he said.
The Telangana State Building Permission Approval and Self-certification System (TS-BPASS), a self-certification online based time-bound building and layout approval system on the lines of TS-iPASS also will be launched during the current financial year after obtaining the Cabinet approval. An Urban Centre of Excellence is also in the pipeline for execution in 2020-21.
The urban landscape of Telangana especially Hyderabad continued to play a significant role in the growth story of the State during 2019-20 notwithstanding the setbacks towards the end due to COVID-19 lockdown. The urban population constitutes around 45 per cent of the State’s population. Hyderabad continues to feature prominently in all success stories at the national level and continues to make waves whether it pertains to being the leader in real estate sector, IT growth story, pharma exports, an astonishing story of road infrastructure network or for that matter the cost of living, the report said.
Ministers Talasani Srinivas Yadav and Errabbelli Dayakar Rao along with several public representatives, Principal Secretary for MAUD Arvind Kumar and other officials were present at the brief function held to release the annual report.
‘Lockdown comes in handy for civic works’
MA&UD Minister K T Rama Rao on Wednesday lauded the Municipal Administration Department and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation for rising to the occasion during the coronavirus-triggered lockdown in the State.
Stating that the department had converted adversity such as Covid-19 lockdown into an opportunity, the Minister said: “We, in an out of box thinking, undertook road and flyover works on a mission mode, utilising the lockdown time and the fact that there was little or no traffic during this period.”
Works worth almost Rs 2,000 crores were carried out during this 60-day lockdown period and the department could complete the foundation of all flyovers, lay 300 kms of BT surfacing and about 30 kms of VDCC roads and a total of 27 stretches covering 44 km were taken up under missing link roads, he said, adding that this had earned widespread appreciation and works which would have required six months in the normal course could be completed during the lockdown period.
The sanitation, entomology, disaster relief and water supply staff worked on a 24/7 basis, often putting themselves at risk to ensure that basic civic services were maintained uninterrupted. In addition, free lunch was arranged for 1.25 lakhs persons a day and 75,000 dinner per evening from March 25 till now. A total of 284 onsite camps were maintained at construction sites for all migrant workers during the lockdown period and subsequently arranged for their travel to their native places.
The disaster relief in GHMC was also a noteworthy achievement during 2019-20. The Disaster Response Force (DRF) proved effective and came in handy in tackling all forms of urban disasters including the Covid-19 pandemic. The GHMC is perhaps the only city corporation in the country to have a Central Enforcement Cell (CEC) for transparent, accountable and visible system of central enforcement. The CEC helped in large scale removal of footpath encroachments, reclamation of 18 parks from encroachers and protection of lake encroachments, the annual report of the department said.