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Govt blames poll deadline for failure to increase GHMC wards

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HYDERABAD: The Telangana government and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) on Saturday informed the Hyderabad High Court that despite best of their efforts to raise the number of wards from 150 to 200, they had to stop the exercise midway due to fast-approaching deadline for elections to the civic body.

Telangana advocate-general K Ramakrishna Reddy told this to a bench of Justice Nooty Rama Mohana Rao and Justice Anis when the latter took up the cases filed by Greater Hyderabad Congress OBC cell chairman M Nagesh Mudiraj and two others, who challenged the decision of the authorities in first raising the number of wards and then abruptly bringing it down to 150 again.

“It is true we tried to raise the number. Meanwhile, the election commission had asked us to link voter cards with Aadhaar cards. Though Supreme Court later said it was not essential, considerable time was spent on that exercise and we are left with little time to complete the process of raising the number of wards by fixing new boundaries to each and every ward. Hence, we have decided to revert to the old number”, the AG said.

The counsel for the petitioners termed the abrupt decision of the authorities as “arbitrary and illegal”. They have evolved a criterion for creating new wards in view of the increase in population. Later, they took a U-turn and retained the number of wards despite increase in population, the counsel said.

Ramakrishna Reddy, however, told the bench that they were not averse to increase the number of wards provided the court extends the elections deadline. “Spare us for one more year from fulfilling the constitutional obligation of conducting elections, we will certainly raise the number”, the AG said. The judge reserved his orders.

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Source: TOI-Hyd

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Tanker booking facility extended to SCB residents

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HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) on Saturday extended the tanker booking facility to customers in the Secunderabad Cantonment through Metro Customer Care (MCC).

The tanker booking facility has been extended to 13,236 customers residing in a radius of four kms from the Marredpally filling station. Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) officials have provided data of 13,236 consumers who are residing in that area.

“As per data, the HMWS&SB has created tanker booking numbers (TBN) for these 13,236 consumers to book tankers under the domestic category through IVRS (155313) from their registered mobile numbers to ensure that tankers reach the genuine consumer,” according to an official release issued by the HMWS&SB here on Saturday.

As domestic consumers of the cantonment were not covered by HMWS&SB, the service requests were in manual mode and as a result, a few tankers were misused and sold at commercial rates. This issue came to light during an inspection by the water board managing director on October 3 and seven tankers were seized. In order to streamline the process, a meeting was held with SCB chief executive officer, Sujatha Gupta. As per the discussions between SCB CEO and water board executives, the officials submitted data for 13,236 unique consumer numbers, the release said.

Consumers who might not be able to book tankers through the 155313 have to update/register their mobile numbers with cantonment authorities and the same would be updated with HMWS&SB for taking the tanker requests, it said.

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Source: TOI-Hyd

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