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Building Penalisation Scheme comes in handy for fire dept

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HYDERABAD: At a time when the city’s green brigade has been calling the state government’s ‘cash cow’-the Building Penalisation Scheme-in the Greater Hyderabad limits, a bane, as it would legalise all unauthorised encroachments, the State Fire and Disaster Response department, has chanced upon the opportunity to turn the bane to boon.

According to officials from the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation’s town planning department, they have deployed a new online system for applying for penalisation. “In this new system we are receiving close to 400 applications everyday. We are trying to go through all of them and see which ones are eligible for regularisation,” said S Devender Reddy, chief city planner, GHMC.

However, officials from the state fire services department say that they are using the applications given to the GHMC for enforcing the Fire Safety Act.

“We are going through all the applications that the people have sent to the GHMC, and verifying whether they have a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from our department. If they fail to install any fire fighting equipment, the civic body will not regularise their building,” said a senior officer from the state fire services department, requesting anonymity.

If the records of the GHMC are anything to go by, the highest number of applications are being received from areas like, Kukatpally , L B Nagar, S R Nagar and Ameerpet.

Ironically officials from the civic body have revealed that they have noticed a hazardous trend in the applications that they have been receiving.

“Most of the buildings that are applying for regularisation, from these areas house, either hospitals or educational institutions, but they were located in residential complexes,” P Venkata Ramana, additional director, fire prevention wing, GHMC, told TOI.

He further added that the fire-fighting mechanism for an educational institution varies from those that are required for an apartment or residential complex.

“Since there are hundreds of such buildings which are applying for penalisation, they would have to be converted into commercial complexes from residential complexes, for them to be regularised. Now, that they are applying for regularisation, we will take them all up to task,” he added. Venkata Ramana, also stated that the GHMC and the fire services department, are visiting the buildings which have sought regularisation.

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Source: TOI-Hyd

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Parties launch campaign for polls

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HYDERABAD: Poll fever is yet to hit Hyderabad, but the main political parties have launched their campaign much ahead of the announcement of elections for Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) expected to be held next month.

While the ruling Telangana Rasthra Samithi (TRS) is rushing to launch populist schemes and make announcements before model code of conduct comes into force, opposition parties, including the Congress and the BJPTDP combine are into aggressive canvassing.

“Now the elections are imminent and all political parties have been turned into campaign mode. Announcement of the poll schedule is just a formality to happen,” said BJP spokesperson M Raghunandan Rao.

In a hope to repeat Wa rangal bypoll victory , the Telangana Rashtra Samithi has given the lead role to chief minister K Chandraesekhar Rao`s son and IT minister K Taraka Rama Rao. After steering the party to victory in Warangal and pulling off the coup to ensure six TRS candi dates elected unopposed in the MLC polls, KTR is looking to hit a hat-trick by winning the GHMC polls for his party .This would also help him claim the number two place in the TRS.

In fact, KTR was the first to talk about the GHMC polls schedule when he told reporters last week that the elections were expected in the last week of January 2016. Following which he was at the centre of hectic political activities. While he went on to give special interviews to TV channels, KTR announced that his party would come up with an election manifesto exclusively for Hyderabad. “It is the collective leadership under which the TRS is preparing to go for the polls. Being a dynamic leader, KTR will assume a significant role as other leaders will also do,” said Palla Rajeswar Reddy , senior TRS leader and MLC.

He said the party was focusing to win 100 wards out 150 wards going for polls. The TRS has already painted the city in pink with the party hoardings dotting Hyderabad. As there is an exodus of leaders from other parties to the TRS, Rajeswar Reddy said over 60 excouncillors who were members in the previous GHMC had joined the ruling party .

In a bid capitalize of the flagship on the popular free two-bed room houses for poor, KTR laid foundation stones for the scheme in Rasulpura and Sanathnagar last week.And he announced that the government would build one lakh houses in the city under the scheme.

On Tuesday , he attended a meeting in the Old City where he promised two drinking water reservoirs for this part of Hyderabad.

On its part, the BJP-TDP combine, which claims to have strong support base in the city, is heavily banking of popularity of Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandraba bu Naidu among the Andhra voters, who account for a significant number in the city .Naidu, who is visiting Hyderabad in weekends, is expec ed to convene a massive BJPTDP party workers’ meet in Hyderabad next week. “The BJP-TDP combine has comp eted coordination committee meeting in almost all assembly segments in the GMC limits. Chandrababu Naidu will campaign for the alliance,” said N Ramachandra Rao, senior BJP MLC.

He said the Telangana BJP eaders would leave for New Delhi on Wednesday to invite national leaders including Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, and Prakash Jawadekar to campaign for the BJP-TDP al iance.

Not to be left behind, the Congress launched the poll campaign on Sunday by taking out a huge rally of the party leaders in Chadrayanagutta in the Old City on Sunday .

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Source: TOI-Hyd

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Telangana Election Watch calls for 'fair polls'

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HYDERABAD: As the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections inch closer, civil society organisations of the city on Tuesday formed a forum, which seeks to ensure “free and fair” polls.

The Telangana Election Watch (TEW) comprises as many as 20 civil society organisations and 30 individuals, who have voluntarily come forward to ensure clean elections.

Speaking to TOI, M Padmanabha Reddy , a TEW member said, “The motive behind having such a committee is to ensure that there is ample participation of civil societies in the upcoming elections. During the term of the former elected body in the civic body, we have noticed that the priorities of the civic authorities were skewed. The only way to resolve this issue is to ensure that the electorate is aware of the contesting candidates.”

Marking their appearance the TEW, has listed out its aims and objectives which it plans to fulfil before elections are conducted. As a first step, the members want to ensure that names of voters, which were allegedly unceremoniously deleted make it back onto the electoral rolls.

“We are planning on coming up with an awareness campaign to ensure that everyone exercises their franchise. Secondly, we want the political parties to ensure that they do not facilitate a candidate who has a criminal record,” he explained.

Once the names of the contesting candidates are announced, the TEW will seek to conduct open debates between the them. The reason for this, they explained, is to enable the voter to have a clear understanding of who to vote for.

“We want to ensure that people are completely aware of who they are voting for, and what his or her idea of development is. We have borne witness to a multitude of scams in the GHMC. This time we want to ensure that the tax-payers of the city get their money’s worth,” said Redappa Reddy, a former High Court Judge.

Another interesting point in the agenda is to keep a tab on every candidates election expenditure, so that ensure that there is no manipulation of the electorate.

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Source: TOI-Hyd

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