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Hyderabad: Social activist held after suicide bid by woman YouTuber


Hyderabad police have arrested a social activist after a woman YouTuber allegedly attempted suicide due to the defamatory comments the man had been making against her.

Syed Saleem, who runs an NGO, was arrested by Chandrayangutta police after a video of the woman YouTuber surfaced.

The woman said that she was ending her life due to harassment by the accused.

The victim, a YouTube reporter who also runs Khidmat e- Khalq Charitable Trust on Facebook, reportedly tried to commit suicide by consuming sleeping pills.

Saleem, a resident of Hafeez Baba Nagar and president of an NGO, had allegedly made objectionable comments against the woman and posted a few videos against her.

Mild tension prevailed near the house of Saleem at Dabeerpura on Saturday night when he was being arrested.

Some people who had gathered there tried to attack the accused and hurled abuses.

Meanwhile, Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) leader Amjedullah Khan Khalid alleged that the police arrested Saleem under pressure from Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM).

He said there was mockery of democracy and total breakdown of law and order when MIM workers including corporators gathered and tried to attack Saleem and used filthy language in the presence of police.

The MBT leader questioned police’s quick action without even ascertaining as to when and where the woman attempted suicide.

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Hyderabad witnesses 22 degree halo around sun


People in Hyderabad and surrounding districts on Wednesday witnessed a rare spectacle in the sky.

A circular halo around Sun dazzled the citizens in several parts of Hyderabad and in neighbouring Medak, Siddipet and Sangareddy districts.

People stepped out to see the rainbow-coloured ring around the Sun, also called ’22 degree halo’. This was visible between 11 a.m. and 12.30 noon.

Surprised to see the rare phenomenon, several citizens captured the image on their mobile phones and shared it on various social media platforms.

Sun halo is an optical phenomenon that occurs due to sunlight refracting in millions of hexagonal ice crystals in the cirrus cloud. It takes the form of a ring with a radius of approximately 22 degrees around the sun or the moon.

According to the UK-based Atmospheric Optics, a knowledge-sharing website, 22 degree halos are visible all over the world and throughout the year. Halos are formed whenever the sky is wisped or hazed with thin cirrus clouds. These clouds are cold and contain ice crystals in even the hottest climes.

A few hours after sun halo, parts of Hyderabad and surrounding districts received rains.

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200-bed Covid isolation centre opened in Hyderabad


A 200-bedded Covid isolation centre was inaugurated on Monday at the NAC Dormitory, Art of Living Foundation, near Hitex in Hyderabad’s Madhapur.

The facility has been set up in collaboration with the NAC, the International Association for Human Values (IAHMC), the Cyberabad police, the Society for Cyberabad Security Council (SCSC) and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader and Legislative Council member K. Kavitha inaugurated the facility in the presence of Serliingampally MLA Arikepudi Gandhi, Deputy Mayor Mothe Srilatha, Cyberabad Police Commissioner V.C. Sajjanar and SCSC Secretary General Krishna Yedula.

Kavitha stated that the Telangana government is working on strengthening the medical services in the state.

Sajjanar mentioned that the 200-bed facility is equipped with oxygen concentrators and necessary Covid medical equipment. The District Collector has allocated medical staff compromising duty doctors and staff nurses.

Free breakfast, lunch and dinner is arranged for the patients. Recreational facilities like meditation and other activities are also planned for the patients in a relaxed environment to help recuperate them faster.

This facility is annexed to the Kondapur Area Hospital and linked to the Covid Control Room. Any one who wishes to avail the services of this facility may reach out to 9490617440 (Cyberabad Covid Control Room).

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Intensive sanitisation drive in Hyderabad due to Covid surge


Municipal authorities in Hyderabad on Sunday took up intensive sanitisation drive and sprayed sodium hypochlorite at several places in the city in view of the massive surge in Covid-19 cases.

On the direction of Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister K.T. Rama Rao, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) took up sanitisation on war footing.

Spraying of sodium hypochlorite was taken up at 636 places in the city by 453 teams of the Entomology Department. In a single day, they sprayed 900 litres of disinfectant. The teams used 840 sprayers, seven jet machines, 63 big fogging machines, and 302 small fogging machines for spraying in over 16,000 habitations.

Spraying of sodium hypochlorite was taken up twice in a day in areas where more number of Covid cases were being recorded. The authorities have made available 3,000 litres of the chemical in every GHMC zone. Emergency teams have been constituted at the zone and circle levels.

The spraying operations were mainly focused urban health centres, basti dawakhanas, places of worship, markets and other public places.

Mayor Vijayalaxmi Gadwal conducted a surprise visit at few places in the city to review the sanitisation drive, which will continue for three days.

The GHMC officials deployed additional vehicles to remove the garbage from garbage dumping points, roads and public places.

The Mayor also made a surprise visit in Khairatabad and Charminar zones to inspect the special sanitisation drive.

She was shocked to see garbage littered up to one kilometer on a road in Vijayanagar colony, summoned the Deputy Commissioner and directed him to immediately get the garbage cleared. She also spoke to the Zonal Commissioner over phone to convey her unhappiness. She directed that garbage be cleared immediately from all the places.

Telangana on Sunday reported over 5,000 cases during 24-hour period, the highest single day spike since the outbreak last year. Hyderabad alone accounted for more than 700 cases.

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IMS scam: ED conducts searches at 7 locations in Hyderabad


The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday conducted searches at seven places in Hyderabad in connection with the money laundering investigation into the large scale scam in Telangana IMS (Insurance Medical Services) ESI Department.

An ED official said that the agency carried out searches at seven location in Hyderabad and seized large amount of incriminating evidence, huge amount of unaccounted cash to the tune of Rs 3 crore, a crore worth of jewellery, blank cheques, property papers and lockers.

The official said that money laundering probe was initiated against the then Director of IMS Devika Rani, her husband, Srihari Babu aka Babji of Omni Group and several others on the basis of eight FIRs registered by Telangana ACB on the allegations of financial irregularities in the purchase and supply of medicines and surgical kits, huge price escalation, gross deviations from ESIC and government norms, creation of fake indents, fake bills, diversion of medicines and falsification of records.

The scam has generated proceeds of crime (POC) approximately from Rs 100 to Rs 200 crore.

The official said that the financial probe agency searches began on Saturday morning at the residential premises of Devika Rani, Srihari Babu, V Srinivas Reddy, son-in-law of ex-Labour Minister Late Nayani Narsimha Reddy, Mukunda Reddy, Personal Secretary to ex-Labour Minister, M Vinay Reddy, brother-in-law of Mukunda Reddy, Burra Pramod Reddy and business premises of Omni Medi.

The official said that during the course of searches, unaccounted cash of around Rs 1.50 crore, Rs 1.15 crore, Rs 45 lakh is seized from the residential premises of V. Srinivas Reddy, Burra Pramod Reddy and M. Vinay Reddy respectively.

The ED also recovered several incriminating evidence documents and digital evidence.

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Hyd at 24th rank in EOL index: War of words and fact check

A couple of days ago Union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Puri released Ease of living index report for Indian cities. Hyderabad got 24th rank in this report. It slipped from 4th rank in the previous time to 24th rank in the current year. This led to the war of words between the leaders of TRS, who allege that the BJP government intentionally reduced the rank of Hyderabad, and leaders of BJP, Who argue that the negligence of the TRS government is the reason for this. Details as below.

The report:

The ease of living index is split into 2 parts. One deal with the cities with more than 1 million population and the other deals with the cities having less than 1 million population. Among the cities with a population of more than a million, Bengaluru has topped the list and given the tag of the most liveable city in India. Pune got 2nd rank, and Ahmedabad got 3rd rank. A total of 111 cities have been included in the list. Hyderabad got 24th rank in this list. Vishakhapatnam is at 15th rank, ahead of Hyderabad in ease of living. Among the cities having less than a million population, Shimla topped the list. Kakinada is in 4th place.

TRS Leaders’ vehement criticism on the report:

As soon as the report is out, TRS leaders criticised it saying BJP attempts to tarnish the image of Hyderabad. GHMC Mayor Vijayalakshmi came down heavily on the report and said BJP leaders interfered in the report and manipulated the rank of Hyderabad. She wondered how can rank slip from 4 to 24. While the report says poor drainage in the city pulled down to be rank, TRS leaders question, how Chennai can rank at 4th place if that is the case.

BJP leaders counter-arguments:

BJP leaders counter the arguments of Vijayalakshmi and other TRS leaders. They argue the TRS government’s negligence is the main reason for this. They remind the recent statements of the Mayor on the poor drainage and flood proneness of Hyderabad. It is to be noted that, when reporters asked Mayor about how she can save the city from floods, she replied, she can only pray for God not to flood the city through heavy rains and other than that she can’t do anything. BJP leaders also remind how HYDERABAD people rebelled against TRS leaders during ghmc elections campaigning as they were frustrated with TRS’s mis-governance in GHMC region.

Both arguments have some merit:

There’s some truth in both sides of the arguments. Bangalore was at 58th rank in 2018. Now it jumped to 1st place. But even the citizens of Banglore themselves are not accepting the tag of the best livable city as they face several issues like huge traffic and lack of basic amenities. So obviously the report has political motivations.

But there’s the other side of the coin too. There is a huge deviation in the parameters considered for this report. While criteria in 2018 focused more on governance parameters, criteria this time includes parameters related to individual choices, citizen awareness and priorities by citizens. Probably modified criteria might have impacted the ranking of Hyderabad.


It seems the political parties know about the modified criteria and yet indulge in a war of words just to push the other party to the corner. So overall, it is just another mind game by the parties to get some political mileage of yet another issue.


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CBI books Hyd’bad firm for Rs 4,736 cr loss to SBI consortium


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday said it has registered a case against a Hyderabad-based company, including its Chairman and Managing Director and Guarantor, Managing Director and Guarantor, and other directors for defrauding State Bank of India-led consortium of banks to the tune of Rs 4,736.57 crore, and carried out searches at several locations.

A CBI official here said that it booked Coastal Projects Ltd based at Hyderabad, its Chairman and Managing Director and guarantor Sabbineni Surendra, MD and guarantor Garapati Harihara Rao, Whole-Time Director and Director Finance Sridhar Chandrasekharan Nivarthi, Whole-Time Director Sharad Kumar, Guarantor and Mortgagor A.K. Ramulu, K. Anjamma, Ravi Kailas Builders Pvt Ltd represented by its Managing Director/Director Ramesh Pasupuleti and Govind Kumar Inani and unknown public servants and others.

The official said that the agency registered a case on a complaint from State Bank of India on behalf of other member banks — IDBI Bank, Canara Bank, BOB, BOM, PNB, UBI, EXIM Bank — for causing an alleged loss of Rs 4,736.57 crore to the banks.

The official said that the bank in its complaint alleged that the accused in connivance with unknown public servants and others defrauded the consortium of banks.

“The account became NPA on January 25, 2017 with retrospective effect from October 28, 2013 and reported as fraud on February 20 last year,” he said.

He said that it was also alleged that the borrower company based at Hyderabad during the period 2013-18 had indulged in falsification/fabrication of books of accounts, manipulations/falsification of the financials to show unrealisable invoked BG amounts as realisable investments, falsified details of promoters’ contribution, converted receivables from related parties to investments to siphon off the banks’ funds, cheating the SBI and other consortium member banks.

“Searches were conducted at the residential and official premises of the accused at Hyderabad and Vijayawada which led to recovery of several incriminating documents and other material evidences,” the official added.

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AMB Cinemas to open doors from December 4th


The theatres across Telugu states are shut for the past seven months. Though the Centre and the state governments granted permission to reopen the theatres, the doors are yet to open as there is no enough content. Sai Dharam Tej’s Solo Brathuke So Better is the only Telugu release in December and the film is announced for December 25th release. Hyderabad’s posh multiplex AMB Cinemas is all set to open doors from December 4th. Hollywood film Tenet is releasing across the country on December 4th in English, Hindi along with all the regional languages. The multiplex would screen old films with limited shows initially along with Tenet.

Some other multiplex chains like INOX, Cinepolis and PVR are expected to reopen their chains and screen films this month. The updated schedules along with the reopening dates will be out soon. Most of the Indian theatres will have to screen old films for the month of December. Most of the Indian multiplex chains rejected the proposal to screen the recent biggies that are released on the digital platforms. The single screens across the Telugu states will reopen from December 11th as per the update.

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TDP promises to revive Hyderabad


The Telugu Desam Party on Monday promised comprehensive development of urban areas in the State if the party is voted to power in the municipal elections.

Releasing the election manifesto ahead of the GHMC elections at the NTR Bhavan on Monday, State TDP president L Ramana said Hyderabad was developed into a city of global standards during the TDP regime. He said TDP national president and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu could attract overseas investments and spared no effort to make the city a globally known information and technology hub. Ramana stated that Naidu had developed Cyberabad which today houses the top-notch tech giants.

In its manifesto, the TDP promised to provide free water connections, free WiFi connectivity in the city to ensure every citizen has high-quality access to the internet, and piped gas to all the citizens. Futher, the TDP manifesto also promises to provide ‘pucca’ houses to all poor families.

Ramana stated that the TDP regime envisioned the international airport at Shamshabad, instrumental in construction of the Haj House, Gandhi Hospital, Outer Ring Road, and setting up of primeir business school ISB, IT giants like Microsoft, and law schools like Nalsar. He said during the TDP regime Hyderabad recieved the Crisil Rating, and was named as the best Clean and Green city and best learning city.

Ramana also criticised the ruling TRS for failing to attract any big ticket investments and also failed to fulfil its promises made in previous manifestos. Accusing both TRS of neglecting the development of Hyderabad, the TDP leader urged the voters to elect it’s party candidates for real development.

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10 lakh CCTV cameras to make Hyderabad crime free: KTR


Hyderabad will soon emerge as the most surveilled city in the world, next only to some cities in China.

Soon, the city will have 10 lakh additional CCTV cameras keeping an eye on more than 68 lakh population. According to a study, Hyderabad has 30 CCTVs per 1,000 people, making it the metro with the heaviest public surveillance coverage in the country and ensuring a spot in the top-20 list of such cities across the globe.

Currently, Hyderabad has more than three lakh surveillance cameras installed across the city.

IT and MAUD minister K T Rama Rao said the governmment will install another 10 lakh CCTV cameras for better surveillance in the city. He was speaking at a meeting with Home Minister Mahmood Ali, DGP Mahendar Reddy, police commissioner Sajjanar and other top officials. KTR, as K T Rama Rao is popularly known as, instructed the top police brass to install CCTV cameras in densely populated spots in the city. KTR was of the view that CCTV cameras play a crucial role in nabbing criminals and curbing crimes. He said the idea to install more CCTV cameras only to make Hyderabad a crime free city.

According to a study by Comparitech, Hyderabad has been ranked 16th among the top 20 most surveilled cities in the world. China is home to nine out of the top 10 most surveilled cities and over half (54%) of the cameras in use globally. Taiyuan, the largest city in China’s Shanxi province, takes the top spot with 465,255 cameras covering nearly 3.9 million people – equal to one camera for every eight residents. London is the only city outside of China to feature in the top 10.

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Foundation laid for Rs 426 cr steel bridges in Hyderabad


Under Strategic Road Development Programme (SRDP) aimed at easing traffic congestion in Hyderabad, foundation stone was laid on Saturday for two steel flyovers to be built at a cost of Rs 426 crore.

Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister K.T. Rama Rao laid the foundation stone in the presence of Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy.

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) will build a four-lane bi-directional elevated corridor from Indira Park to VST (2.610 km) at a cost of Rs 350 crore.

A second level three-lane bi-directional flyover will be constructed from Ram Nagar to Baghlingampally (0.850 km) at a cost of Rs 76 crore.

Both the flyovers will be made of steel and will have steel piers, steel pier caps, and steel girders with cast in-situ deck slabs.

Rama Rao said though steel bridge works cost 20 to 30 per cent more, the government decided to build steel bridges as the works can be completed faster and avoid inconvenience to road users.

KTR, as the minister is popularly known, said the government was committed to build skyways up to a length of 36 km at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore.

Stating that the skyway works require defence lands, he urged Kishan Reddy to use his good offices to persuade the defence ministry to hand over these lands for road development.

KTR said during the last six years, the government undertook several road improvement works in Hyderabad. SRDP works were taken up at a cost of Rs 6,000 crore

He pointed out that due to less volume of traffic on the roads during the last four months because of the lockdown, the works were expedited. He said the work which would have taken 10 months was completed in two months.

The minister said that if Hyderabad is to be developed into a global city, traffic congestion has to be eased. “Realising this, on one hand SRDP was launched while on the other Hyderabad Road Development Corporation Limited was formed to take up new link roads and missing roads. Under an innovative initiative, comprehensive road maintenance programme, 710 km length of roads were given to private parties for maintenance.”

Kishan Reddy stressed the need for rising above politics and working together to improve road infrastructure in the city.

He said the population of Hyderabad was likely to grow further and hence there was a need for more roads and flyovers. Stating that investors are reluctant to go to Bengaluru because of the traffic problems there, the minister called for avoiding such a situation in Hyderabad.

Kishan Reddy called for speeding up the flyover work at Amberpet jointly undertaken by the Centre and the state government.

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2 Hyderabad jewellers’ corona deaths create panic among party guests


The death of two city jewelers due to coronavirus within five days has led to panic among around 150 people from various walks of life who attended a birthday party thrown by one of them in Hyderabad a few days.

A 63-year-old diamond jeweler who had organised the party for his relatives and friends two weeks ago succumbed on Friday. One of his guests, another city jeweler, had died earlier.

A leading politician from the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and 11 others who attended the party have since tested positive and are undergoing treatment at different hospitals.

As many as 150 people had attended the birthday bash hosted by the jeweller who owns a shop in Himayatnagar area. Many leading jewellers, politicians and prominent people from various walks of life were among the attendees.

Since many important personalities attended the party, the incident was kept a closely guarded secret.

According to sources in the Telangana Health Department, three days after the party, a jeweler, who was among the guests, developed COVID-19 symptoms and was admitted to a private hospital, where he tested positive. He succumbed on Monday.

Later, the host too developed corona symptoms. He died at a corporate hospital on Friday.

Telangana, especially Hyderabad, has been witnessing a massive surge in COVID-19 cases for the last 3-4 weeks.

The number of cases crossed 22,000, with 1,850 new cases on Saturday. Greater Hyderabad alone accounted for 1,572 cases.

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Hyderabad COVID patient sends heart-wrenching video before death


A heart-wrenching selfie video of a young COVID patient complaining of negligence by a state-run hospital in Hyderabad and saying goodbye to his father has gone viral over social media.

“Though I told them that I can’t breathe, they removed the ventilator. I am fed up. It’s been three hours, daddy. It’s like my heart has stopped beating. Bye daddy bye. Bye everyone,” said the man in the video.

According to the family of P. Ravi Kumar (34) he died soon after he recorded the selfie video on June 26 at government-run Chest Hospital, where he was admitted on June 24.

Ravi’s father P. Venkateshwarlu said they shared the video so that the world knows what’s happening in hospitals. “No other family should go through this ordeal,” he said.

The hospital authorities, however, denied that there was any negligence. They said he died of cardiac complications.

They said the patient was given medicines and put on supplementary oxygen but he developed heart related complications.

Hospital Superintendent Dr Mahboob Khan clarified that the patient was not put on a ventilator and hence was incorrect to say that it was removed. According to him, Ravi Kumar was suffering from a condition called myocarditis.

Hospital superintendent said this heart related complication is being observed in some younger patients infected by Coronavirus. Such patients die due to lack of oxygen supply to the heart.

The deceased is survived by his wife, a 12-year-old daughter and a nine-year-old son.

After working in Saudi Arabia for 10 years, Ravi Kumar had returned home two years ago and has been living with his parents.

Venkateshwarlu said his son started complaining of breathlessness on June 23. He took him from one hospital to another but no one admitted him. “We went to 11 hospitals but they refused to admit without a Coronavirus test,” he recalled.

The next day he took Ravi to a private lab and gave a sample for COVID-19 test. The same night his condition started worsening and his father took him to Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) but authorities there told him to go to Chest Hospital. He was finally admitted to that hospital.

Venkateshwarlu was staying in the hospital premises. He said his son sent him a selfie video late on the night of June 26. He watched this around 2.30 a.m. and went inside the ward but by then his son had breathed his last.

The next day hospital authorities handed over the body to the family and they performed the last rites. The report, which came later in the day, showed him to be COVID positive. Authorities quarantined his family members and were gathering information about 30 people who attended the funeral.

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Covid-19 drug priced Rs 5,400 per vial by Hyderabad-based Hetero

Covifor, the generic version of Covid-19 drug Remdesivir, will be available in India for Rs 5,400 per 100 mg vial, Hyderabad-based Hetero Labs announced on Wednesday.

Following the approval to Covifor by the Drug Controller General of India , Hetero Healthcare Ltd, a group company of Hetero, announced that it is set to deliver the first set of 20,000 vials.

They will be made available in two equal lots of 10,000 each. One lot will be immediately supplied to Hyderabad, Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra while the other lot will be supplied to Kolkata, Indore, Bhopal, Lucknow, Patna, Bhubaneshwar, Ranchi, Vijayawada, Cochin, Thiruvananthapuram and Goa within a week to meet the emergency requirements, the company said.

“Through Covifor, we hope to reduce the treatment time of a patient in a hospital, thereby reducing the increasing pressure on the medical infrastructure, overburdened currently due to accelerating Covid-19 infection rates. We are working closely with the government and medical community to make Covifor quickly accessible to both public and private healthcare settings across the country,” said M. Srinivasa Reddy, Managing Director, Hetero Healthcare.

Covifor is the first generic brand of Remdesivir which is indicated for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in adults and children, hospitalised with severe symptoms of the disease. The drug is available in 100 mg vial (injectable). It needs to be administered intravenously in a hospital, or critical care setting, under the supervision of a registered medical practitioner.

Covifor is anticipated to play a significant role in bringing down the mortality rates caused by Covid-19, given its proven positive clinical outcomes, the company added.

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Wildlife concerns rise after second fire in Hyderabad varsity campus


A major fire that broke out on the University of Hyderabad campus Wednesday night led to the death of several wild animals, students and wildlife activists said.

Students and the university security staff battled for two hours to douse the flames, which started simultaneously at three places, killing wild animals in an area of 8-10 acres.

The fire, the second in 15 days, left the students puzzled about its cause and they demanded that the university authorities immediately procure fire-fighting equipment and deploy security guards on the rocks to keep an eye on the trespassers.

A university official said the fire broke out at 9.30 p.m. near the boundary towards Nallagandla side. “About 20 security guards and 15-20 students reached and put out the fire by 11.15 p.m. with the help of portable fire extinguishers. A fire engine also was called from Gachibowli which helped in completely putting out the fire,” a university spokesman said.

When the place was inspected on the morning, it was found that some people were trying to cook inside the university as stones to balance the utensils and ashes were found at the site. It is suspected that some labourers from the Nallagandla side would have come inside the university to cook food, he said.

The university authorities said they were trying to procure additional fire-fighting equipment to tackle such situations.

Students say the central university witnesses 6-7 fires every year but the second incident in two weeks has raised concerns about the safety of wildlife.

“Last week, the first had burnt dry grass on 6-8 acres but this time it was a huge fire. It started from three points,” B. Rohit Kumar, a research scholar, told IANS.

He said he along with other students and activists saved two pythons. Many wild animals are believed to have perished in the fire.

He said they were puzzled by two fire incidents in 15 days. They suspect it could have been lit by cattle-herders who enter from outside and burn the old dry grass so that new grass grows in its place.

They said poachers could also be behind the fire incidents. Sometimes the students also light campfire but the recent incidents are not related to them.

“Every year the university is witnessing at least seven major fire accidents, which are causing lot of wildlife deaths and destroying valuable biodiversity,” said Dr Ravi Jillapalli, founder, Wild Lens, a group working to create awareness of the biodiversity on the campus.

He pointed out that in the past fire incidents damaged labs in Computer science, Life Sciences (Old building), and shelter sheds of construction labourers.

He said a security person and few students were injured in the fire caused by burning of a garbage dump a year ago. The then Assistant Registrar immediately proposed to purchase a fire extinguisher vehicle which was estimated around Rs 30 lakh, but the proposal was rejected by the administration.

He said a university with eminence and potential for excellence is struggling a lot to procure basic fire safety mechanism. “Is it really that difficult for a university with crores of funding to get a fire extinguisher vehicle and couple of fire fighters,” he asked.

A huge fire in February this year had burnt dry grass over 150 acres of land towards Gopichand Badminton Academy side.

The university campus spread over 2500-3000 acres is home to several rare species of bird and wild animals like spotted deer, wild board, monitor lizard and Asian palm civet.

Rohit Kumar said they were worried about the safety of the animals. The students had been demanding the university authorities procure the latest fire-fighting equipment so that the fire breaking out in deep forest area on the campus can be controlled.

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No fish ‘prasadam’ this year in Hyderabad due to Covid-19


The annual event to distribute fish ‘prasadam’ among asthma patients will not be held this year in view of the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing lockdown.

The Bathini Goud family of Hyderabad on Sunday announced that the event, held in the first week of June every year, will not be organised this time.

Harinath Goud, the head of the family, said they decided not to distribute fish ‘prasadam’ this year, keeping in view the public scare due to coronavirus and the lockdown restrictions.

This is the first time in many decades that family will not be distributing the fish ‘prasadam’.

The Telangana government has already extended the lockdown till May 29. “Even if the lockdown is lifted, it will not be possible to follow the physical distancing norm and hence we decided not to organise the event this year,” Harinath Goud said.

He cautioned people against some fake messages being circulated in the name of Bathini family about fish ‘prasadam’ distribution.

Every year, the family distributes fish ‘prasadam’ to asthma patients on Mrigasira Karthi, which heralds the onset of monsoon and normally falls on June 7-8.

People suffering from asthma and other respiratory problems reach here every year from various states to received fish ‘prasadam’ from the family which claims to be distributing it free of cost for 175 years.

Last week, a NGO working for child rights had urged the Telangana government not to allow the annual event in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

Balala Hakkula Sangham had said the state government should not facilitate the event.

Reiterating that that the ‘fish medicine’ is unscientific, its BHS Honorary President Achyuta Rao said the state government should not facilitate the Bathini brothers in administering it.

Thousands of asthma patients from various parts of the country gather in Hyderabad to receive fish ‘prasadam’ (offering), as the medicine began to be called by Bathini Goud family a decade ago after rationalists challenged its efficacy.

Despite the controversies which hit its popularity in recent years, people continue to throng the venue in the hope of finding some relief to their nagging respiratory problems. However, the numbers have dwindled over the years.

The asthmatics gulp down a live ‘murrel’ fish with a yellow herbal paste in its mouth, which is believed to provide the much-needed relief, if taken for three consecutive years. For vegetarians, the family gives the medicine with jaggery.

The Goud family claims that the secret formula for the herbal medicine was given to their ancestors in 1845 by a saint after taking an oath from him that it would be administered free of cost.

Every year, various government departments make elaborate arrangements for the annual event held in Exhibition Grounds in the heart of the city.

The family had been distributing the fish medicine at their ancestral house in Doodhbowli till 1997 when the communal riots in the old city had forced it to shift the venue to Nizam College grounds. Subsequently, the government persuaded them to permanently shift the venue to Exhibition Grounds.

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Migrant workers in Hyderabad, Ramagundam stage protests


Migrant workers from various states staged protests in Hyderabad and Ramagundam on Sunday, demanding the authorities send them back to their homes.

About 1,000 workers belonging to Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh and living in Mehdipatnam and Toli Chowki areas in Hyderabad came out on the roads, demanding transport arrangements to their respective states.

They gathered at Toli Chowki flyover and when police tried to stop them, they sat on the road, raising slogans. The flash protests led to mild tension in the area.

Deputy Commissioner of Police A.R. Srinivas rushed to the scene and tried to pacify the protestors. He advised the migrant workers to approach their nearest police station and register their names and other details. He assured that the details will be forwarded to the government for making necessary transport arrangements. Following the assurance, the workers peacefully dispersed.

Meanwhile, migrant workers also staged a protest in Ramagundam town of Peddapalli district, demanding that they be sent back to their respective states.

The migrants working in the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) plant in Ramagundam sat on state highway Rajiv Rahadari. Hailing from West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh, the workers alleged that despite repeated requests the officials were not making any transport arrangements for them.

The workers had already registered their details at NTPC police station and since no action was taken on their request, they again reached the police station. As the police told them that it will take time for responding to their request, the workers numbering about 400 registered their protest by reaching the highway and staging a sit-in.

Ramagundam MLA Korukanti Chandar reached there and assured the workers that the transport arrangements will be made within two days. Following his assurance, the workers called off their protest.

Migrant workers in various parts of Hyderabad and surroundings and other districts in Telangana have been demanding that they be sent back to their respective states. Though the Telangana government is assuring them of supply of cooked food and all necessary help, the desperate workers are insisting on transport arrangements to carry them back to their native places.

There have been similar demands from several places ever since the Centre last week announced that the stranded migrants, students and tourists can return to their homes during the lockdown.

The first train for migrant workers in the country was operated from Lingampalli station near Hyderabad to Hatia in Jharkhand on Friday, carrying over 1,200 workers. They were all working as construction labourers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad at Kandi in Sangareddy district.

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IAF chopper showers petals on Hyderabad’s Gandhi Hospital


As a symbol of thanksgiving to medical professionals and others involved in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, a helicopter of the Indian Air Force showered petals on them at Gandhi Hospital and Medical College here on Sunday.

Flying over the hospital, Chetak helicopter showered the petals on doctors, nurses, other paramedical staff, sanitation workers and policemen who had gathered in the hospital premises for this rare honour.

Led by Gandhi Hospital superintendent Dr Raja Rao, doctors, nurses, technical staff, sanitation workers and police personnel in their uniform stood in front of the hospital building.

Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar and other senior officials were also present on the occasion.

The chopper, which took off from Indian Air Force Station, Hakimpet, showered the petals under the leadership and command of Group Captain K.S. Raju (Medical) and Group Captain Pankaj Gupta.

The state-run Gandhi Hospital is the state nodal centre for treatment of Covid-19 patients. About 500 people have been treated and discharged from this hospital while 560 are undergoing treatment.

Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar told media persons at Gandhi Hospital that showering of petals was a symbolic act to thank doctors, nurses, technical staff and safai karamcharis for their services as the frontline warriors in the war against Coronavirus.

“This is the salute by warriors protecting the country’s frontiers to those fighting for internal safety of the country. This battle has been going on for the last six weeks and everyone is busy fighting this battle 24×7,” he said.

He also thanked all police constables who are rendering valuable services in this battle. “They are performing their duties in 42 degree Celsius heat during day time and in dark and silent nights,” he said.

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Inter-Ministerial Team in Hyderabad to assess corona situation

As the number of positive cases neared 1,000 in Telangana, an Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) has reached Hyderabad on Saturday to take stock of the corona virus situation and monitor the lockdown process in the state. The central team is visiting the state in accordance with the Disaster Management Act.

Each team will have eight members including a senior public health specialist and a senior officer of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). These teams will monitor hotspot areas, asess health infrastructure, disaster management and provide additional assistance to states. The task force team will review the hospitalisation facilities in the state, preparation of the state in terms of available beds, ramping up the number of hospitals and care centres dedicated to Covid-19 management.

The central team will review the facilities at the Gachibowli Covid-19 hospital, Gandhi Hospital and other medical facilities set up by the Telangana government. The team will assess the level of testing, availability of PPE and masks for health professionals, availability of oxygen beds, ICUs, number of surveillance teams. The team will submit a detailed report on the situation in the state following which a central plan of action will be suggested to further contain the virus. After the assessment, the team will issue necessary directions to the Telangana government for redressal.

The central government has already sent inter-ministerial teams to monitor certain hotspot districts in four states – Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.

On Friday, 13 fresh cases of were reported in Telangana, taking the tally to 983. The number of active cases stands at 663. The virus has so far claimed 25 lives in the state.

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COVID-19: Hyd’bad students turn lifesavers for campus strays, wildlife


Amid the coronavirus pandemic, where empty campuses have resulted in stray dogs going hungry, a group of animal-lover students at the University of Hyderabad have taken it upon themselves to care for the hundreds of stray dogs and wild animals that have made the sprawling varsity campus their home.

The sprawling campus of UoH is also the habitat for nearly 200 species of birds, various mammals and reptiles. The food wastage of the hostel messes and garbage used to be the source of food for many stray dogs, wild boars and other wildlife.

Following the 21-day lockdown, most of the students left for their home, and the hostel messes too were closed. Some of the dogs began to foray into the wooded areas on campus in search of food, and hunt hares, wild boars and spotted deers.

Noticing the hunger pangs of the stray dogs and its impact on the wildlife in campus, a team of 30 students led by Rohit Kumar Bondugula, Research Scholar of School of Computer and Information Sciences at the UoH, joined hands with Pradeep Nair of Animal Warrior Conservation Society, to feed the stray dogs and wild animals inhabiting the university campus.

Speaking to IANS, Rohit Kumar said, “Normally 5,000 people stay on campus and now there are hardly 200 people here. The stray dogs were not getting food they normally got and started hunting the peacocks and other small animals on campus. We felt that by feeding the stray dogs we can prevent them from hunting the wildlife and thus protect them too.”

To avert the conflict between the stray dogs and wildlife, Rohit and Pradeep along with their team decided to feed the strays within their territories at different places in the campus. The teams arranged to provide cooked food for the stray dogs, and water bowls for the birds, along with vegetables and grass for the wildlife on campus.

The horticulture department, UoH Security and forest guards regularly fill strategically placed concrete tubs on campus, with water for spotted deers, wild boars and other wildlife on campus.

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