Minister for Municipal Administration KT Rama Rao elaborated on various developmental activities taken up including Civic works and other infrastructure facilities in GHMC and its surrounding Municipalities during a short discussion in the Assembly today.
Here is the full text of KTR’s speech in Assembly:
Ever since the formation of the state in 2014, Telangana has been one of the fastest-growing states in terms of urbanization in the country. With a number of initiatives taken up by the state such as availability of uninterrupted and quality 24/7 power supply, TS-iPASS policy leading to growth in employment, one of the fastest-growing real estate sector, relatively low cost of living in comparison to other cities, Metropolitan culture with one of the best-maintained law and order for any Metro, conducive weather, attractive government policies, much acclaimed public transportation system, and availability of social infrastructure, among others have made Hyderabad as one of the most preferred destinations, not only for individuals but also for the corporate companies. At 42.6%, the Telangana’s urban population is well above the national average of an urban population of 31.2%.
In order to provide better and efficient citizen services to urban citizens, a number of Legislative and administrative reforms have been undertaken by the State Government during the last 6 years. Because of growing urbanization and urban features, a total of 74 new Municipalities and 7 new Municipal corporations were formed in the last 3 years thus taking the total number of Municipalities to 142. Additionally, 173 Gram Panchayats have been merged in the existing ULBs.
In order to have a planned and orderly growth in the cities, Pattana Pragathi programme was launched in February 2020 with a special focus on sanitation, development of green spaces and upkeep of civic services. Along with functions, resources also being devolved to ULBs. State Government has ensured the release of Rs. 78.00 Crores per month in GHMC and Rs. 70.00 Crores per month to all other Municipalities thus totalling Rs 148.00 crores per month without fail. This implies that an amount of Rs. 1776.00 Crores is being released to ULBs annually. Perhaps there is no parallel to the Telangana Government in the Country in provision such regular and committed devolution to the ULBs.
The State Government has also taken up several path-breaking legislation for urban local bodies for better governance and citizen-centric services. Telangana Municipal Act, 2019, for instance, aims at preparing the municipal budget as a planned exercise, creation of charged expenditure in the budget, creation of 10% of the budget as green budget and a citizen-friendly building approval system. Accordingly, TS-bPASS was approved in this session of legislature paving the way for self-certification based online approval system in a time-bound manner. The “Deemed approval” provision in TS-bPASS is a revolutionary step.
While continuously improving the civic infrastructure in all ULBs, the State Government has ensured that there is not even a single rupee increase in property tax and water charges. In fact, the properties with a property tax of less than Rs. 1200 annually has been reduced to just Rs. 101 and to ensure protected water through “Mission Bhageeratha” to every household, tap connection charges has also been reduced to One Rupee for BPL families and Rs. 100 for others Urban reforms through legislative and enabling provisions Government of Telangana has been in the forefront in initiating new urban reforms; some of which are:
(I) Telangana Municipalities ACT 2019:
This policy is a paradigm shift in urban planning with a citizen-friendly approach to achieve a futuristic vision. The Telangana Municipalities Act, 2019 is a first of its kind and ushered in the following institutional reforms:
● Broad-based representation of the people in the form of four Ward Committees for every ward.
● Municipal Budget to be a planned exercise with a provision of “charged expenses”.
● Green Budget: Municipality wise “Green Action Plan” to be prepared. 10% of the budget will be earmarked as green budget.
● City Sanitation Plan: Preparation of City Sanitation Plan is mandatory for all Municipalities
● Water Plan: Water Audit shall be conducted to bring down Non-Revenue Water (NRW).
● Building Permission: Building construction permissions will be issued instantly, based on the Self -Certification under TSbPASS.
● State Institute of Urban Excellence: The act stipulates that the state shall establish a State Institute of Urban Excellence. It will be the hub of urban excellence, specializing in the broad domains of urban development, management, governance, finance, poverty and policy.
Plans are also underway to appoint Ward Officers for every ward in all ULBs who will be the single point contact for all activities pertaining to ULB at ward level
(ii) Telangana State Building Permission Approval and Self Certification System (TS-bPASS) Act 2020:
The bill was placed, discussed and passed in this session of the legislature with emphasis on self-certification, online approval system and time-bound approval. This is going to be unique path-breaking legislation in the country so far where building approvals are concerned.
In order to prevent haphazard development of cities, to regulate their orderly and planned development, and to secure scientifically developed towns to the future generations, the Government have introduced Layout Regulation Scheme (LRS) and banned the registration of unauthorised Plots or Layouts in future. A one-time opportunity has been given to the plot owners to rectify past mistakes.
Creating of new institutional setup
In order to improve efficiency in service delivery and civic infrastructure, specialized and professional bodies have been created which includes (1) Telangana Urban Finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (TUFIDC) which acts as a nodal agency for fundraising and implementation of works in ULBs. (2) Strategic Road Development Project (SRDP) which was started to ensure the construction of flyovers, new roads, grade-separators and other such road infra works in Hyderabad. (3) The Comprehensive Road Maintenance Plan (CRMP) to take up up-keep and maintenance of major arterial roads in Hyderabad. (4) Hyderabad Road Development Corporation Limited (HRDCL) to take up construction of missing link roads and other such greenfield roads. (5) Musi Riverfront Development Corporation Limited (MRDCL) which aims to plan for rejuvenation of Musi river in a planned manner, and (6) Disaster Response Force (DRF), an inhouse Disaster Response Force has been created in GHMC with 19 teams consisting of 700 trained personnel and other logistics such as vehicles.
It is one of its kind in the country for any city. It has played a crucial role since 2018 within GHMC in disaster management and has played a yeomen role, especially during monsoon. Such a force is established in Warangal and Karimnagar Corporations and will be expanded to other cities in future.
Considering the growing importance of Hyderabad and its crucial role in the state’s economy, the state government has initiated a number of schemes and capital projects for the upkeep of existing infrastructure and creating new infrastructure. Based on information as compiled from various departments, a total of Rs.67035.16 crores worth of capital expenditure has been incurred on various infrastructure projects in Hyderabad since the formation of the state till date (including few works which would be completed in next four months).
A statement of capital expenditure undertaken by GHMC and other departments in Hyderabad is placed along with this statement. The expenditure by GHMC includes, apart from its own resources include funds raised through bonds and bank loans. Metro rail also includes expenditure under PPP.
As a result of the creation of such specialized bodies within GHMC, a number of infrastructure works have been taken up such as Durgam Cheruvu Cable Bridge (which is ready for the inauguration) under the Strategic Road Development Project (SRDP). With an investment of Rs.24,000 Crores, 7 number of Skyways with a length of 137 Km, 11 Major Corridors with a length of Rs.166 Km have been taken up. Several critical works under this project have already been completed easing the traffic congestion at the busiest traffic junctions of Kukatpally, LB Nagar, Ayyappa Society, etc. Steel Bridges have been commenced at Indira Park, Owaisi Junction, etc., In addition, 46 flyovers are taken up by SRDP, 27 number of missing link roads are taken up by HRDCL. And 709 km of roads under seven packages have been taken up under CRMP. Everyone could witness how effectively the state government utilized the lockdown time to speed up completion of ongoing infrastructure works in the city which indeed has caught the attention of the nation.
Uppal to Narapally Skyway is under construction. Two more similar kinds of skyways were proposed – one from the Paradise to Komally and another from Secunderabad to JBS have been planned, but could not have commenced as the required permission from the Defence establishment is not yet granted.
Cable-Stayed Bridge at Durgam Cheruvu:
This upcoming structure is widely acclaimed as another Iconic structure of Hyderabad City like the Charminar and Golconda Fort. With the basic aim of reducing the traffic congestion on Road No.36, reduction of travel distance by about 2 KM from the Jubliee Hills to Mind Space & Gachibowli and to connect the happening areas of Hitech City and Financial District with other parts of the City, the construction of Cable-Stayed Bridge at Durgam Cheruvu is taken up and is nearing completion and ready for inauguration.
One of the yardsticks for citizen progress is the percentage of commuters using public transportation. It has been the stated policy of the state government to improve the public transport and as a part of this, a total of 69 km of the metro railway has been constructed and operational in three corridors, namely (1) Miyapur to LB Nagar (2) Nagole to Raidurg (3) Jubilee Bus Stand to Mahatma Gandhi Bus Stand. Carrying a peak of 4 lakh passenger per day before the COVID pandemic.
The State Government has also taken up construction of 36 number of Foot Over Bridges (FOBs) in Hyderabad and has proposed two skywalks, one at Mehdipatnam and the second one is at Uppal junction which would ensure pedestrian safety.
Welfare of Citizens
The Government has taken up several welfare activities for the betterment of the poor and vulnerable in the cities. As part of the same:
1) Basti Dawakhana: Health is considered as Wealth. In the absence of adequate primary health infrastructure, the poor and low-income group people tend to suffer. To mitigate the situation, a total of 198 Basti Dawakhana are made functional in Hyderabad as on date covering notified slums and other such congested areas. Another 102 locations have been identified and works are on, and the objective is to create a total of 300 Basti Dawakhanas ready by the next 4 months. Unlike Mohalla Clinics of Delhi, we provide extension services in Basti Dawakhana and perform around 55 types of tests, which are much more.
2) Annapuran Centres: In order to provide affordable, hygienic and healthy food, GHMC since 2014 is having 150 Annapurna centres providing 35,000 lunches every day at the nominal cost of Rs. 5 per lunch. It’s noteworthy that during covid pandemic, not only meals were supplied free of cost, the coverage was extended for both lunch and dinner and a total of 373 centres were made available during covid period. Annapurna Scheme had provided 4,00,09,651 meals until March 2020 and during the covid pandemic, another 1,58,32,277 meals were provided free of cost, bringing the total meals till date to 5,58,41,928.
3) 2BHK Houses: It is a dream for many poor people to have their own house in the metropolitan city of Hyderabad. To realise such a dream of the poor, the State Government has taken a bold decision and initiated the process for construction of nearly 1,00,000/- 2BHK houses in nearly 109 locations. The houses are at a fast pace of construction and would soon realise the dream of about 1.00 lakh houseless urban poor in realising a dignity house of their own, without any const. The 2BHK housing colony at Kollur with 15,600 dwelling units at a single space spanning 125 acres with a cost of Rs.1400 Crores is first of its kind in India.
4) Street vendors: A total of 3,97,966 street vendor have been identified in all ULBs in the state including 99,364 in Hyderabad, out of which 2,17,164 applications are being processed for bank loan of Rs. 10,000 each, making Telangana only the 2nd state after Madhya Pradesh under the street vendors scheme.
5) Sanitation: The Government has provided vehicles for collection of Urban Solid Waste with a view to improvising urban sanitation. As part of Pattana Pragathi, primacy was given to the sanitation activities in a scientific manner.
In order to address effectively existing dump yard at Jawahar Nagar, scientific capping was taken up in the year 2018 at the cost of Rs. 140 crores which are nearing completion. In addition, a 19.8 MW waste to the energy power plant is ready for inauguration at Jawahar Nagar, with the further scope to increase the capacity by another 28.2 MW.
It’s not just Hyderabad, biomining of existing wastes has been taken up in all other Urban Local Bodies and tenders for same are in finalization. A total number of 176 Dry Resource Recovery Centre have been taken up in 123 Municipalities.
In addition, 71 Fecal Sludge Treatment Plants (FSTPs) are under construction in 71 ULBs and another 68 faecal sludge treatment plants in the remaining ULBs will be called for tenders now thus making entire state ODF++ once these FSTPs are operational.
Our Government has taken enough measures to curb the manual scavenging and rehabilitation of them. In HMWSSB, they have been provided with alternate livelihood by the provision of Jetting Machines to them.
With a monthly payment of Rs 14,000 per month in GHMC and Rs. 12,500 per month in other ULBs to all the outsourced sanitation workers, the state government has ensured payment of minimum wages. No other state perhaps can boast such a claim.
The state govt has taken up the drive to ensure that there are no insanitary toilets in state and has taken up a massive campaign for constructing public toilets. As a result, total number of 4225 Public toilets in GHMC and another 8839 public toilets in all other ULBs, at least half of it will be for women will be ready by Oct 2nd 2020, a feat unmatched by any other city or state. Hyderabad will now have the maximum number of public toilets for any city in the country.
6) Water Supply: Unlike in the past, this Government has made several measures for improvement of water supply position in the towns. Water supply availability is improved both in Hyderabad and surrounding ULBs. In peripheral circles of GHMC, the Water Supply network improvement project with Rs.1900 Crores has been completed. The Keshavapur reservoir, which is conceptualised to serve the future water supply needs of Hyderabad City is soon going to be commenced. On the request of the HMWSSB, the Hon’ble Chief Minister was kind enough to intervene and reduce the power tariff to the HMWSSB thus reducing the burden on the Board. For this act of kindness, I express my gratitude to the Hon’ble Chief Minister on behalf of the HMWSSB.
7) LED Lighting: As an energy-saving measure, 4,58,574 LED street lights have been installed and operational in Hyderabad and 5,89,495 LED street lights installed in all other ULBS, thus a total of 10,48,069 LED street lights in the state in urban areas ensuring a saving of about 50% in energy consumption and has resulted in better illumination of cities.
8) CC TVs: Hyderabad is also No.1 City in Surveillance with a total number of 3,42,645 CCTV Cameras. So far 18,235 cases have been detected with the help of these CCTV Cameras. In addition, Hyderabad Police has introduced a Citizen-Centric application called “HAWKEYE” for the welfare of the general public.
Awards & Accolades:
Hyderabad, the capital city, continues to be a world-class city and has retained its position as the best city in the country on various parameters. Hyderabad is rated as No.1 city on the Mercer’s “quality of living index” for the 5th Year in a row.
Further Hyderabad has been ranked “first among the Best Cities to Live in India, 2020” by holidify.com. In fact, this site says that Hyderabad is fast turning into the New York City of India and credits the city for evenly distributing its population and companies to provide hassle-free life with less congestion and traffic.
In a report codified by the Holidify.com, Hyderabad secured first place in the best liveable cities category.
Hyderabad has been rated as “the world’s most dynamic city” from amongst 130 cities across the globe by ‘‘City Momentum Index” (CMI) published by JLL on 18th Jan 2020. Hyderabad has been ranked first because of several key economic indicators like talent attraction, strong innovation economy and the challenges the city face in trying to accommodate rapid growth and maintain positive momentum in the longer term.
Due to multiplicity of factors, which has ensured that Hyderabad emerges as a magnet for employment creation and attracting new firms, Hyderabad has witnessed ”the highest office net absorption” among any city globally and it is leading in India’s office space creation with a 30% share in first Half of 2020 as reported by JLL.
State Government is committed to continuously invest in Hyderabad and surrounding areas especially within ORR to ensure that it keeps its competitive edge over all other metros.
Commendable services by municipal staff
The Government is committed to the development of the urban areas in the State. I thank each and everyone who is working towards the development of towns and especially who are striving to make Hyderabad, a truly World Class City. We will strive towards realizing the resolve of our Chief Minister in making each and every town in the State a livable and lovable one.
To conclude, it is to place on record the sincere appreciation and thanks to the Municipal Sanitation workers of ALL Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) including GHMC, who have been on the field and have worked tirelessly often risking their lives, especially during the Covid Pandemic. The Government is committed to their wellbeing and will initiate all necessary measures to look after their welfare