Major Developments in Hyderabad – October 2012

The month of October had many developments that affected the day-to-day living of a common man in the city. The major ones include the increase in price and limitations on connections of LPG gas cylinders, Supreme Court’s ban on the usage of black films on automobile glasses and windows, final allotment of engineering college seats, etc. While most of the city was busy in Dasara and Bakrid arrangements, few were still suffering with Dengue.

General

  • From October 11, the citizens of Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts were allowed to apply for voter ID cards from eSeva centres. The person can visit eSeva with Form-6, date of birth certificate, residential proof, and a passport size photo and the authorities will take care of the rest of the process.
  • Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), Hyderabad takes the pride of building the world’s largest telescope of 135-feet which will be installed at the highest observatory in the world at Ladakh. It weighs 180 tonnes with a 21 metre diameter. This telescope will be useful to study gamma rays that are emitted in the universe.
  • Hyderabad stood as the fifth biggest city in the country in GDP contribution. The city contributes GDP of about $74 billion, of which information technology, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology industries contribute the major chunk. Hyderabad also has the large informal economy that employs 30% of the labour force.
  • Hyderabad is listed as the third best city to visit in the list of ‘Top 10 World Best Cities to Visit in 2013’ by travel guide book ‘Lonely Planet’. The guide described the city as elegant and blossoming.
  • Greater Hyderabad scored 36 out of 92 in the level of biodiversity management. The city scored too badly in recreational and education services for children.
  • In a study conducted by the State Pollution Control Board to find the effect of Ganesh immersion in Hussain Sagar Lake, it was found that the lake suffered a condition called hypoxia. The dissolved oxygen (DO) count which should be more than 10mg/litre to support marine life is less than 1 mg/litre on that day. Both the Plaster of Paris and shiny paints lead to the pollution. According to the authorities those accumulations may enter the ground or surface water.
  • The state Endowments Department has decided to ban the erection and display of all types of banners within the temple premises, except those of the deities of the temple.

LPG cylinders – price and connections

  • The central government finally made a decision regarding the LPG refills (both domestic subsidised and non-subsidised). As per the new norms which are effective from April 1, 2013, LPG customers can avail only six domestic subsidised LPG refills per financial year. Whereas, there is no restriction for number of domestic non-subsidised cylinders. However, from 14th September 2012 till 31st March 2013, LPG buyers are eligible only for three subsidised domestic cylinders.
  • After the hike in dealer’s commission, the rate of subsidised domestic LPG cylinder has gone up to Rs 413 per cylinder (exactly 412.92). And the rate of the unsubsidised domestic cylinder is fixed at Rs 957.
  • Authorities also notified that they will strictly implement the online booking system for LPG cylinders to weed out consumers who use LPG to run cars and who have multiple connections under different names.
  • In another announcement they also made it clear that oil marketing companies (OMCs) will deliver refills only if consumers hand over the empty original cylinder.

Health

  • The number of Dengue cases still continued to pile up in the city hospitals. According to the official records, a total of 198 cases and three deaths have been reported in the city this year which is four times more as against 2011.
  • Hyderabad neurologists revealed that the number of brain stroke cases in the city is matching the national average, which is 1,000 cases among one lakh population per year.
  • The high court asked the state government of Andhra Pradesh to issue notification banning the sale and use of gutkha.

Road, transport and pollution

  • Supreme Court has issued a directive asking all the vehicles in the city to remove dark films from the windshields and side windows. It says that the side glasses should have 50% visual light transmission (VLT) with 50% tint (within the glass) and the rear and front glasses 70% VLT with 30% tint. The city police has launched ‘operation black film’ in the city, levying a fine of Rs 500 (initially Rs 100), and Rs 1000 (for the vehicles costing above Rs 50 lakh) for the vehicles having dark tints.
  • The RTA, Hyderabad has increased its postal charges from Rs 25 to Rs 35. Most of the RTA documents like driving license, vehicle registration certificate, etc., mostly concerned to non-transport vehicles, are compulsorily mailed through post.
  • The Hyderabad city traffic officials have said that, 40% of the traffic offenses are committed by women motorists in the city, but only around 6% of the cases are booked against them. Surprisingly, there are only 20% of women motorists in the city.
  • The Hyderabad Metro Rail Project which has started as a ‘medium density project’ (in the lines of Delhi metro), is now being upgraded to a ‘high density project’, in terms of carrying passengers per hour. In this regard, the HMR is scaling-up the axle load in the construction process, so that, the trains carry around 60,000 passengers per hour in peak direction (PPHPD) across the 3 routes.
  • According to statistics obtained through Right to Information (RTI) Act, only six police stations present in the old city have issued 1,50,804 e-challans between June-September, out of 3,73,432 e-challans issued between June and September by 19 police traffic stations in the entire city.
  • The price for high security number plates has been decided by the government at Rs 220.34. APSRTC will start fixing high security number plates for all the vehicles (two & four wheelers) in the state in few days, and it is planning to set up 48 centres across the state for this purpose.
  • The State Pollution Control Board has said that fast food joints and takeaways (both, small and large), in the city are significantly contributing to smog build-up in the city, as they generate serious air pollutants like volatile organic components (VOC), due to the burning of fat or oil. Griddles and deep fat fryers used at these places are found to generate much pollution than cars and buses.

Education

  • The EAMCET engineering final allotment of seats after the second phase of counseling has been announced during the first week of this month. Nearly 1.05 lakh seats of the total 2.34 lakh seats in engineering and pharmacy colleges remained vacant for the convenor quota for the year 2012.
  • In order to fill 1.06 lakh vacant seats after the second phase of EAMCET counseling, the authorities have decided to conduct spot admissions by college managements between 5th and 20th of November. In the same lines MBA/MCA colleges will also have spot admissions.
  • Noting that around 22 engineering colleges recorded zero admissions and 229 colleges with less than 100 admissions this year, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has asked the college managements with poor admissions to let it inform if they want to close their institutions.
  • Finally, the fee structure for MBA and MCA colleges in the state has been fixed by the government. The fee for 710 MBA and 373 MCA colleges were fixed at Rs 27,000 per annum. Other 48 MBA colleges with top notch facilities, with governments approval, were allowed to charge fee between Rs 46,300 to Rs 71, 200 per annum and 49 MCA colleges to charge between Rs 43,400 to Rs 88,000 per year.

Real Estate

  • The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is planning to carry out property tax assessment, specifically for the illegal buildings constructed on encroached government lands. The civic body also made it clear that the occupants of such properties will not have any power to register or regularise the land, but still need to pay the tax. As per their estimates, GHMC is losing around RS 70 crore per year by not levying tax on these illegal buildings.
  • In order to curb the menace in sand mining which led to several controversies, the state government introduced lottery system in place of auction of licenses/rights for sand mining in the state with immediate effect.
  • GHMC is planning to hike the property tax and after many discussions it was finally decided that the hike should not exceed one month’s rent for residential properties. Whereas, the tax for commercial establishments is likely to come down by 15-20%. A committee was formed to fix the rates, once it announces the proposed rates, GHMC will give 15 days time for the citizens seeking objections and suggestions.
  • The state government is planning to increase the land value of both agricultural and non-agriculture lands by 20%, for registration purpose by November. If the rates are hiked, the property buyers are supposed to pay more towards registration and stamp fee.
  • The state fire services department has decided to introduce mandatory fire license for small business establishments in nine selected categories. Such businesses include petrol bunks, nursing homes, lodges without restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, function halls and so on. The new system is likely to come into effect from November.

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