Major Developments in Hyderabad – December 2012

The month of December was ‘cool’ for the people of Hyderabad with mercury dropping down to 13ºC. The city was gripped with Christmas fever – people were busy shopping, decorating their houses, putting Christmas trees, ‘Stars’ in front of their houses, and of course, the pleasant Christmas carols were heard in many parts of the city.

The magical date, 12-12-12, occurred in this month. Next time the three numbers will align will be on 1st Jan 3001 (1-1-1) – happy to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime date! People of Hyderabad enjoyed this day. One more interesting day of the month was 21st Dec’12 – the Doomsday. Rumors saying that it will be the last day for the world were viral throughout the year. But to many peoples’ surprise nothing happened.

Vector diseases like Dengue, Malaria and Lyme were still bothering Hyderabadis.

And the last week of the month saw people preparing themselves for the New Year and planning for a suitable place to celebrate.

Some of the major developments in Hyderabad this month were:

General

  • It’s winter, cold was moderate in the city during the first half of the month. However, the last week saw bone-biting cold nights. The temperature fell to 13º C making it one of the coldest weeks in the month.
  • Christmas celebrations along with New Year preparations were the most happening things of the month. According to sources despite rising prices, people spent decent amounts on shopping and celebrating the eve. Besides, regular attire and gift articles, electronic appliances like cameras, iphones, LCD TVs sold out like hotcakes in the city. The festive offers like 50-60% discounts were another reason.
  • With the state government increasing excise duty and trade margin on Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL), the prices of medium and premier brand liquor prices were hiked. The increased prices may make the liquor prices dearer by at least Rs 10 for every 180 ml bottle. The cheap liquor and beer are spared from the excise duty hike.
  • According to the city police officials, white collar crime is on rise. As per their records, as of November 2012, a total of 9,625 cases have been booked pertaining to economic offence in which culprits had duped people with Rs 1,507 crore. Further cybercrime cases are also increasing. From 380 cases in 2011 it grew to 450 in 2012. Keeping these things in view the officials are planning to devise new plans to strengthen the economic offenses wing.
  • With the cyber security becoming a never ending issue, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is developing a new operating system (OS), which will be called as the Indian operating system. According to the sources around 150 engineers from DRDO are working on that project from the last 1 ½ years and it is expected to complete in the next 1 ½ years.
  • A major fire accident has happened in the Begumpet airport in which one Aeroplane and a helicopter were suspected to be gutted. The explosion resulted into huge flames. However, did not disturb or injure any one.
  • The state government in a major relief to the suspended employees, decided to consider the suspension period which is generally treated as extraordinary leave (once all their leaves are expired) as duty period and thus will consider them for the purpose of increments and pensions, only if their suspension is revoked.
  • Chowmahalla palace, one of the heritage buildings of the city has now been updated with a ‘Heritage Library’. With a vast collection of around 10,000 books, mostly from the personal collection of Asaf Jahi Nizams the library is now open to the public.

Health

  • According to a recent report released by Central Government, people are drinking tea with iron fillings that enter the tea powder due to the wear and tear of machinery used to process them. Responding to this govt. in association with The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), has fixed the maximum limit for iron filings in tea as 150 mg per 1 kg as a temporary limit. Once the National Institute of Nutrition’s (NIN) study on harmful effects of iron filling gets published, the govt. may either increase or decrease the limit.
  • Eye problems related to diabetes are on the rise in Hyderabad. In the last two years, the number of cases has nearly doubled according to sources. Out of every 100 diabetic patients, 8-10 suffer from problems related to eye. The city doctors are warning diabetic patients not to neglect this issue because it may lead to diminishing vision, vitreous hemorrhage and chronic macular oedema. To avoid these complications diabetic patients should get their eyes checked every six months.
  • During the ‘Global Meet of Biologists’ that was held in city, the city biologists urged on the increase in vector borne diseases and what can be done to detect and prevent these diseases. The major reasons for rise in vector borne diseases like dengue, malaria and lyme diseases in the city are, due to decrease in green cover, drop-off in number of animals, climate changes, change in lifestyle and other factors like air and water pollution. One can control these diseases by taking simple measures by keeping the surroundings clean and tidy, so that mosquito breeding can be controlled.
  • City hospitals are recording huge number of heartburn and acid reflux cases in the recent past. One major hospital of the city, Asian Institute of Gastroenterology has been recording 1,000 cases a month related to those conditions. The technical term used for this condition is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). According to the experts, the increase in the number of GERD cases is because of irregular food habits and working hours, poor diet, smoking and junk food.

Roads and Transport

  • Traffic violation is the city on rise. The city traffic cops on a daily bases booked nearly 5,000 cases against traffic violators. The traffic violation was mainly done by blue collar workers aged between 20 and 30 years. Most of the violators were booked under drunken driving, of them 35.47 percent were the blue collar workers and 27.86 percent were businessmen.
  • With the increase in number of road accidents, the city traffic authorities have decided to bring back the rule of seat-belt and helmet. Till November 2012, there were about 400 deaths and 2,000 people getting injured.
  • The bridge across the Musi River at last has been completed by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA), to ease the traffic problems at Langer Houz. The bridge connects to Hyderguda at Langer Houz. The whole stretch is 307 meters long with two carriageway and footpaths on both sides. As per the sources the bridge will be soon available to public.
  • As a part of Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) project, GHMC has undertaken building demolition drive for road widening activities on the LB Nagar to Miyapur stretch. The drive has affected about 54 property owners of which 24 owners have agreed for a compensation of Rs 32,000 per square yard from the civic body.
  • The city traffic police once again conducted ‘Operation Black Film – Phase-2’ to make sure that every four wheeler except those of Z category people is following the ban on black film on car windows. This time the city police were a bit harsh and imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 for the violators. According to the survey by the city traffic police more than 95 to 97 percent of the 4 lakh car users had removed black films on their car windows.
  • According to the recent data available, The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSTRC) bus drivers are involved in a number of accidents this year, when compared to last year. This year the APSRTC bus drivers (temporary) are responsible for 88 deaths and 233 people being injured. A training program has been organized by the APSRTC for the bus drivers.

Services

  • The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board (HMWS & SB) has started an IVRS facility in Metro Customer Care (MCC) to handle heavy flow of calls during summer. As of now two services can be availed by dialing MCC – booking of Dial-A-Tanker and sewerage choke complaints. Citizens can call 155313 to utilize the services which came into effect from 24 Dec.
  • The citizens can obtain birth and death certificates online with digital signatures. GHMC has completed validation of birth and death certificate between 2000 and 2005 and the remaining will be completed by next year. The new registrations will be available online simultaneously.
  • In a view to make sure that every registered voter of the city is availing the benefits of banking, the central government has decided to provide saving bank account to every citizens. Every citizen under GHMC limit who is above 18 years of age should having an account as per the center’s order. The authorities are gearing up with door-to-door surveys to know the status of the drive.
  • The Income Tax Department has developed a single window clearance system for tax payers to bring in account the public complaints that are related to incorrect communication, adjustment of arrears demand and other issues. For any complaints the additional commissioner of income tax (computer operation) can be contacted on 040-23425262 or 040- 23425261.

Real estate

  • About 3 lakh property owners in the city to pay 500% more tax. These property owners had fixed the property tax by themselves 10 years back under self-assessment scheme introduced by the GHMC. Some of these owners are paying less than Rs 100 in annual property tax. The GHMC has categorized the property into 3 categories A, B and C, and according to the category, property tax rates has been hiked.
  • Under the new property tax drafted by the GHMC, Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills residents will have to pay more property tax than residents of Gachbowli, Kondapur and Hitec City. The hike in property tax is because of the available civic amenities in Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills.
  • GHMC has issued orders to demolish nearly 210 unauthorized buildings in a period of time manner. According to the authorities the demolishes are done in order to make the citizens aware of the importance of obtaining building approvals and other permissions from GHMC before constructing buildings.

Education

  • As per the new orders issued by the social welfare dept. the post matric scholarships for MBA and MCA students are revised. According to the new orders irrespective of the tuition fee only Rs 27,000 will be provided as maximum scholarship towards tuition fee. However, the SC and ST students will get full reimbursement of the tuition fee.
  • In a major setback to the resolution passed by state govt. in November to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to impose a ban on new engineering colleges and to put a cap on the number of seats in the existing colleges, AICTE has now turned down. Explaining that the proposed resolutions may raise legal tangles, AICTE also mentioned that being a national level body it cannot impose separate policies for different states.
  • Engineering tuition fee in many of the colleges across the state may go down in the next academic year. In the recent inspection conducted by the state government, the faculty as well as the infrastructure in the colleges found to be not as per the AICTE standards. Keeping these things in view the task forces is planning to recommend reduction in fee to the fee regulatory committee for the next academic year 2013-14.
  • The University of Hyderabad (UoH) has announced that it is introducing two new courses in 2013 and also mentioned that the entrance test will be conducted in February next year, instead of June, to give the best students a chance to consider UoH as first option.

Electricity

  • In a minor relief to the AP power consumers, the state high court has passed a stay order on the collection of Fuel Surcharge Adjustment (FSA) for the first quarter of 2010-11 and asked the discoms not to collect the same from the consumers.

  • The industry sector is facing heavy penalty for excess use of power. The Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) has imposed fine of 6 to 7 times additional to the original electricity bill if the industry sector consumes power more than 60% during off peak hours and 10% during peak hours.
  • The discoms are eagerly waiting for the approval of the second power traffic hike and if approved the burden will fall on consumers with an extra charge of Rs 1 per unit. The reason for the hike is, the discoms are facing huge losses, due to the increase in the cost of power generation RLNG (Re-Liquefied Natural Gas) that costs around Rs 300 crore every month.

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