January was probably, the most exciting and crucial month as for major developments in Hyderabad. It was exciting because the city welcomed 2013 with great pomp and gaiety, followed by Sankranthi when kite enthusiasts in the city had a great time being engaged in kite duels, and in the last week, the city celebrated the 64th Republic Day. The month was crucial because the ongoing Telangana issue and arrest of the MIM leader which created much furore in the city.
The city experienced significant developments such as hike in movie tickets, Telugu must till class X, ban on gutka and pan masala, clean-up of Hussainsagar, VAT hiked on liquor, rising malaria cases and the extended cap on subsidized LPG cylinders.
Following is a brief summary of major developments in Hyderabad in the month of January, 2013.
- The state government raised VAT on various liquor beverages in order to avoid income tax on revenue that state earns through AP Beverages Corporation. Price of strong beer has gone up from Rs 85 per bottle to Rs 95 and large beer from Rs 75 to Rs 85. The high-end liquor will cost Rs 15 more per bottle. Wine that costs Rs 55 per bottle has been hiked to Rs 60. Ready to drink beverages prices increased from Rs 55 to Rs 65. Hard spirits prices have gone up from Rs 55 to Rs 60, Rs 130 to Rs 135, Rs 140 to Rs 145 and Rs 210 to Rs 225.
- Price of single screen movie tickets was hiked by the state government. The Rs 10 ticket has been increased to Rs 25 and Rs 55 ticket will cost Rs 75.
- According to the officials of electoral rolls, there is a steep rise in number of voters in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts. They have stated that over three lakh new voters have been added to Assembly constituencies in Greater Hyderabad.
- Tension gripped in some areas of city due to arrest of MIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi. Mr. Owaisi had delivered a ‘hate speech’ few days back, which raised conflicts between communities.
- AP Chief Minister launched Re 1-a-kg rice scheme as ‘Mana Biyyam’ and stated that this scheme is applicable to all white ration card holders from the coming Ugadi. This scheme will soon be implemented in all districts of the state.
- The state government issued an order that, before screening the main film, all theaters will have to show short films of government departments, in order to create awareness among public about various government schemes.
- In just a span of a year the city traffic police have booked 12,744 drunk driving cases, which is really a matter of concern and safety of the driver. To keep a close check on drunken drivers, the traffic police have decided to get more breath analysers.
- An order has been issued by the state government on banning of selling of gutka, pan masala and other products that contain tobacco and nicotine. AP is the 17th state in India to join hands on ban of tobacco products.
- According to Indian researchers of a German University, the degradation of groundwater in the city is increasingly getting dirty and in future due to rapid urbanisation it will be beyond recoverable level.
- The rise in malaria cases is continuously bothering the citizens, with no adequate measures taken by the GHMC to have a control on vector borne diseases. Most of the cases have been reported from Old City and Amberpet.
- According to reports from the State Food Laboratory, the milk that is being sold by well-known diary companies in the state are not safe and may be harmful to health. The quality of the milk is poor and contains harmful pathogens.
- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has proposed that food manufacturers should get a certificate from an authorised religious agency if they want their products to be labelled as ‘Halal’.
Roads and Transport
- The Hussain Sagar clean-up work was launched on 7th December 2012 by Chief Minister, but finally the work started in the first week of January. The work involved scooping waste material of almost 1,200 cubic metre of sediment in the first two days at Picket nala point.
- The newly constructed parallel bridge at Lakdikapul though completed two months back is still not open to traffic which is very disappointing. It is learnt that Rs 14 crore was spent on the project in order to ease traffic problems, but motorists regret the fact that they are unable to use the bridge because it has not been officially inaugurated by the Chief Minister.
- The Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMR) is planning to introduce skywalks for metro users so that they can straight away walk towards their respective destinations without getting on the road.
- The Union government raised cap on subsidized cylinders from 6 to 9 that created much confusion among gas agencies and LPG consumers. There was chaos going around because consumers who booked cylinders long back did not receive cylinders on time.
- The Union government has announced that LPG consumers must provide Aadhaar details at respective gas agencies on or before February 15 to get subsidized cylinders. Otherwise, they will have to pay Rs 1000 to get a non-subsidized cylinder.
- Visa applicants can now check their US visa status online at https://ceac.state.gov/CEAC/, and the service is available 24/7. The specific tool in the website “CEAC Status Check’’ allows visa applicants to verify the visa procedure.
- The state government approved HMDA’s Plan-2031, according to which, there is no restriction for height on buildings under residential zones I and II. Buildings that come under residential zones III, IV and peri-urban zones, they have been imposed height restrictions. Fur further details, go to http://hyderabad-india-online.com/real-estate/2013/02/hmdas-master-plan-2031/
- The HMDA is planning to impose taxes on new buildings that are on either side of the radial roads in order to recover crores of rupees that has been spent on development.
- The state government has made its decision on making Telugu a mandatory subject along with English till class X and all schools should follow this rule irrespective of the medium of instruction.
- According to a study conducted by the state Directorate of Economics and Statistics (DES) about the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) growth, Andhra Pradesh ranked sixth in economic growth among 15 major states of India.
- From this year onwards, a separate entrance test will be conducted by private medical and dental colleges in the state for admissions to management quota seats in PG and UG courses.
- Higher cut-off percentage for AP students – A survey conducted by the Council of Boards of Secondary Education (CoBSE) reveals that AP students should secure more than 87.2 per cent in their Inter exams and CBSE students need to secure over 77.80 per cent to be eligible for the JEE (Advanced) for admissions in the IITs.
- The AP State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE) has made it easy for the students who are applying for the CETs (Common Entrance Tests) by providing application forms and the entire process online for the next academic year (2013-2014).
- On May 10, 2013, the Eamcet entrance examination shall be conducted. In the first week of February, the notifications will be sent and the results shall be declared on June 2.
- According to the new rules set by the AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education), students who have topped the EAMCET (Engineering Agricultural and Medical Common Test) are not eligible for admissions in the first counselling phase if they have failed to pass the intermediate annual exams in the first attempt, they are eligible in the second counselling phase after clearing the backlogs.
- Last year the Osmania University was given the title of ‘University with Potential for Excellence’, by the University Grants Commission (UGC), but unfortunately the university is losing its sheen due to the furious and unruly behaviour of students over the irregularities in PhD admissions.
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