Telangana assembly passes new municipalities bill

The Telangana assembly has passed a municipal bill, providing for self-assessment of property tax, demolition of unauthorised constructions and granting of building permissions through online facilities

The Telangana assembly, on July 19, 2019, passed a municipal bill, which proposes citizen-friendly initiatives, such as self-assessment of property tax and tough measures including disqualification of elected members, for failure to ensure survival of 85% of plants under the green drive. The Telangana Municipalities Bill, 2019, also provides for demolition of unauthorised constructions without notice and building permissions through online facility, for buildings coming up on an area of up to 500 sq metres, with a height of the ceiling at 10 metres.

“If an unauthorised construction is started, no notice will be given, it will be demolished. It will be an immediate demolition, in case of unauthorised construction,” chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who moved the bill, said. The bill also provides for self-certification for paying property tax. It proposes a penalty of up to 25 times, if a landlord is found to have furnished wrong information. The veracity of the claims would be checked by flying squads, under the supervision of district collectors.

See also: Hyderabad Metro: Construction of pillars for 66 kms of route completed

Rao also announced that the urban poor can construct a house (ground plus one floor) on a small plot, without having to apply for permission from the municipality. They would have to pay a house tax of only Rs 100 per annum. Such beneficiaries, however, must register with the municipality at a nominal charge of Re 1 in order to get civic facilities, he said. He said new door numbers would be given to each house, which would have a QR code. This would be useful for, among others, in prevention of crimes, he said.

Saying that ‘oxygen clubs’ were coming up in Hyderabad, Rao stressed the need to promote greenery. According to the bill, one of the responsibilities of the municipal chairperson, is to constitute a green cell and earmark 10% of funds in the budget and take up plantation as decided by the district-level committee, headed by the district collector. The chairperson needs to take up plantation in his/her ward and ensure survival of 85% of such plantations. The municipal ward member or designated special officer can be removed from their posts, if they fail to ensure survival of 85% of plantations.

There would be only municipalities and municipal corporations and no other urban local bodies. The number of municipalities and municipal corporations in the state would be 128 and 13, respectively.

 


Telangana sanctions over 2.8 lakh two-bedroom houses, under its housing scheme for the poor

The Telangana government has sanctioned over 2.8 lakh houses under a scheme for the poor, at an estimated cost of Rs 18,520 crores

July 17, 2019: The Telangana government has sanctioned 2,80,616 houses, under its two-bedroom houses for the poor scheme, the state housing corporation said, on July 16, 2019. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 18,520 crores and the expenditure so far has been Rs 6,141 crores, a release said.

See also: Hyderabad Metro: Construction of pillars for 66 kms of route completed

Of the 2,80,616, houses, tenders have been called for the construction of 2,38,926 houses, it said. Tenders have been finalised for the construction of 1,99,835 houses. Construction of 1,79,078 houses has begun, it said, adding that construction of 1,23,314 houses has been completed. The construction of 32,008 houses been completed 100%, while 90% of the construction has been completed, with respect to 91,306 houses. It said 55,764 houses are in different stages of construction.

 


Formulate new urban policy for Telangana: Chief minister to officials

Telangana CM, K Chandrasekhar Rao, has asked officials in the state to formulate acts for a Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and the Hyderabad Metro Development Authority, as well as urban, rural and revenue policies

July 8, 2019: Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, on July 7, 2019, instructed officials to formulate a new urban policy, giving no scope for corruption, to ensure that services are extended to the people with transparency. Along with this, a new rural policy and revenue policy should also be formulated, he said. As part of the new urban policy, a new Municipal Act, new Corporations’ Act and new Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Act should also be brought in, a release from the CM’s office quoted him as having said. A new Act should also be put in place for the Hyderabad Metro Development Authority and other urban development authorities for their administration, he said.

See also: Hyderabad Metro: Construction of pillars for 66 kms of route completed

Rao, who held a high-level review meeting in Hyderabad, on the new urban policy, asked officials to come out with draft proposals on these Acts in the next couple of days. He said a brief legislative assembly session would be convened, to discuss and pass these new Acts. Rao said officials and elected representatives would be vested with the responsibility, to ensure that governance would be in tune with the Acts, which would incorporate stringent punishments for dereliction of duty. He said necessary guidelines would be incorporated in the Acts, to make collectors take active responsibility to settle matters within the municipalities and corporations.

“We have enacted a new Panchayat Raj Act. Similarly, we have to enact new revenue and municipal Acts. Governance should be on the fast track, without any corruption and in a very transparent manner,” he said. Rao said it was decided to hold panchayat raj conclaves state-wide, to create awareness on the new Panchayat Raj Act and steps taken by the government for development of villages. He said it had been decided to spend Rs 7,000 crores annually and Rs 35,000 crores in five years, for development of villages. After these conclaves, 100 flying squads would be formed, for surprise inspections of villages and action would be taken for dereliction of duty and misuse of funds, he said.

 


Comprehensive master plan soon, to convert Hyderabad into a global city: CM

Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has announced that a comprehensive master plan would be formulated, to convert Hyderabad into a truly global city

February 11, 2019: Hyderabad-based Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), in consultation with a team of national and international experts, will formulate a comprehensive master plan to convert Hyderabad into a global city, keeping in view the future needs of the city, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said, on February 9, 2019, during a meeting with officials. Any changes to the master plan should be done only with the consent of the cabinet, a release from his office, quoting him, said.

Rao said that instead of depending on a small body like the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority to implement the plan for the city’s comprehensive development, there should be a larger body, with experts from various fields like sewerage, drinking water, power lines, traffic and environment. Observing that Hyderabad has been growing, population-wise and also economically, he said the city, however, faced problems like rising pollution, increase in traffic and reduction in green cover.

See also: Telangana CM asks officials to improve greenery in Hyderabad, on a massive scale

Rao said it was not only Delhi and Bengaluru but also Beijing that was now not convenient to live in. Delhi was suffering from pollution and Bengaluru had traffic problems. As of now, Hyderabad appeared to be all right but the situation would be out of control unless the city prepared for the future, he said. Stressing on the need to promote greenery, he said all polluting industries must be shifted from the city.

“Industrial estates not in use due to closure, are to be converted into green areas and parks. Every vacant place is to be converted into a green area. The 1.5 lakh acres of forest blocks in and around Hyderabad, should be rejuvenated as a forest,” he said. He reiterated that the metro rail would be extended up to the international airport.

 

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