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Police grills main accused in gambling at Hyderabad farmhouse


Cyberabad police on Wednesday began questioning Gutta Suman Kumar, the main accused in the case relating to gambling organised at a farmhouse allegedly belonging to the father of a Tollywood actor.

Police on Sunday raided a farmhouse at Manchirevula in Narsingi on the outskirts of Hyderabad and arrested 30 people including a former MLA for gambling.

A local court on Monday sent the accused, including former MLA from Mahabubabad, Sriram Bhadraiah, to judicial custody for 14 days.

The court on Tuesday allowed police custody of the main accused.

A police team from Narsingi Police Station under the limits of Cyberabad Police Commissionerate took custody of Suman and after his medical checkup at the government-run Osmania Hospital, began questioning him.

Suman had taken the farmhouse on rent for one day from the father of a young actor, who, in turn, took the property on lease from a retired bureaucrat for film shootings. The police on Wednesday called the actor’s father to the police station along with the lease document to ascertain the facts.

According to police, Suman had taken the farmhouse on rent for one day for a birthday party but organised gambling by inviting several people. Those arrested include some realtors.

Police booked the accused under Telangana Gaming Act. They seized Rs.6.77 lakh cash, 33 mobile phones, three cars and 29 gambling sets.

Police learnt during the investigation that main accused Suman already had cases registered against him in Hyderabad and Bengaluru under Anti-Gambling Act and was arrested in the past.

The questioning by police is likely to bring out the modus operandi of the main accused. He is allegedly involved in organising casinos at star hotels and farmhouses by inviting rich individuals through WhatsApp groups. After receiving the payments, he used to issue coins to them to participate in the gambling.

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Police seize 110 kg ganja in Hyderabad


Police in Hyderabad on Friday seized 110 kg of ganja which was being transported from Andhra Pradesh to Maharashtra.

The Special Operation Team (SOT) of Rachakonda Police Commissionerate seized the narcotics consignment in LB Nagar and arrested two inter-state drug peddlers.

Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat told reporters that the ganja was concealed in a mini truck loaded with bananas. The contraband, valued at Rs 18.50 lakh, was being transported from the agency area in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh to Nagpur via Hyderabad.

The operation was carried out by SOT along with Abdullapurmet police. The arrested were identified as Lumbaram Solanki and Kishna Ram, both aged 24 and natives of Rajasthan.

Supplier Masada Pedda Balanna, a resident of Visakhapatnam and receiver Rasheed of Uttar Pradesh were absconding.

A case under NDPS Act 2001 was registered at Abdullapurmet police station of Rachakonda

The ganja was seized amidst an intensive campaign launched by Telangana Police to tackle the drug menace.

Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda Police Commissionerates, which cover Hyderabad and suburbs, have launched a special drive against narcotics by taking up searches at suspected places and arresting the accused.

About 72 kg ganja was seized and four persons were arrested by police in two different raids in Hyderabad Police Commissionerate limits on Thursday.

According to Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar, 70 kg of contraband was seized from a house in Yousufguda. Two persons, who had sourced the ganja from Sileru in Andhra Pradesh, were arrested.

In another case, police seized two kg ganja from two persons, who were scouting for customers.

Last week, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had directed Police and Excise Departments to take stringent measures to curb the growing drug menace in Hyderabad and other parts of the State.

Bhagwat said the police were carrying out raids on pan shops and kirana shops selling ganja and gutka. The Police Commissioner announced that a drug de-addiction programme ‘Naya Savera’ will be launched soon to save students from drug abuse.

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World’s largest cricket bat unveiled in Hyderabad


World’s largest cricket bat, certified by Guinness World Records, was unveiled here on Saturday by the former Indian captain Mohammed Azhrauddin.

The bat, which is 56.1 feet long and weighs 9,000 kg has been gifted by Pernod Ricard India Ltd, to the government of Telangana, will be on display on Tank Bund till November 16 and will be later kept at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Uppal.

Unveiled on the eve of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Pernod Ricard dedicated the bat to the Indian team.

Made from poplar wood, the bat has been fabricated by BSL Events. It took almost a month to make it.

The bat, made at a cost of Rs 70 lakh, has beaten the previous Guinness Record of 51 feet long bat made at Chennai.

Azharuddin, who is the president of Hyderabad Cricket Association, unveiled the bat in the presence of Arvind Kumar, Principal Secretary, municipal administration and urban development, Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, industry, commerce and information technology, Udit Dugar, Zonal Head, South India and Gopal Akotkar, Regional Head, Telangana & AP, Pernod Ricard India.

“Because of this world’s largest bat and India-Pakistan match scheduled on Sunday, we will be celebrating Diwali tomorrow itself. We are installing the bat on Tank Bund for people coming to Sunday Funday to savour the visual treat,” said Arvind Kumar and requested Azharuddin to install the bat later at Uppal stadium.

Jayesh Ranjan congratulated Pernod Ricard for making the world’s largest bat and for choosing Hyderabad to display it. “A record holding bat will permanently be displayed in Hyderabad and that’s a tremendous honour. This World record bat can be a huge inspiration for our fans ahead of the World Cup,” he said.

Azharuddin congratulated Pernod Ricard for making the bat. “I was amazed to know about the weight of the bat. Being Hyderabadi, I am more than delighted that this iconic bat was made in Hyderabad. It’s all the more rewarding as it is certified by the Guinness World Record. You are being rewarded for the time, effort and planning put in to make this epochal bat,” he said.

“I wish the Indian Cricket Team the very best in the T20 World Cup and for tomorrow’s match against Pakistan, it is going to be a great tussle and India will come off with flying colours. We have a very experienced team and my favourite player is Rohit Sharma,” he added.

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Rs 6,300 crore for Hyderabad Airport expansion


GMR Hyderabad International Airport will be investing Rs 6,300 crore to increase the airport’s capacity to 34 million passengers per annum.

This will make Hyderabad Airport larger than Orly Airport Paris, said Antoine Crombez, Deputy CEO, GMR Airports Ltd while addressing Indo-French Investment Conclave 2021 here on Friday.

Last year, GMR Infrastructure Limited (GIL) had announced a strategic partnership with Groupe ADP for its airports business. Groupe ADP’s acquisition of a 49 per cent stake in GMR Airports set a robust industrial partnership.

Meanwhile, French fruit beverages manufacturing company Georges Monin has doubled investment in its upcoming manufacturing plant in Telangana to Rs 200 crore.

The conclave organised by the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IFCCI) to strengthen French investment opportunities in Telangana, saw participation by over 100 CEOs, CXOs and diplomats of France.

The event showcased and promoted existing French investments in the state within its large network and position Telangana as one of the most sought-after investment destinations due to its strategic location, conducive business environment, state-of-the-art infrastructure, proactive governance, and favourable ecosystem.

The delegation also visited French companies that are successfully operating in the state such as Safran Aircraft Engines, Mane India and Sanofi Shantha Biotech.

The conclave included several panel discussions focusing on key industries and the official session was attended by Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India, KT Rama Rao, minister for information technology, Telangana, Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, IT department, Telangana, and Sumeet Anand, IFCCI President.

“France and French companies are fully committed to increasing their presence in Telangana and seizing the many opportunities of this thriving, innovation-oriented state. Many French groups have already invested in Telangana, particularly in biotech, IT and aeronautics. These Indo-French business endeavours in key sectors in Telangana also help to strengthen the strategic partnership between our two countries,” said the French ambassador.

He said he was proud that that French companies demonstrated exceptional solidarity with Telangana during the second wave of Covid-19 by contributing to a French-made world-class oxygen generator plant to the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences.

“Telangana is one of the fastest-growing states in the country. Since the formation of the state, the Telangana government has been introducing innovative policies to attract global firms and investments,” said K.T. Rama Rao.

Highlighting the TSiPASS policy, he stated that the Telangana government has been giving approvals for various investment proposals within 15 days. He added that through this policy, the Telangana government has attracted crores of investment to the state and has created lakhs of employment opportunities in the region.

Rama Rao also mentioned that Telangana has been the favorite destination for IT, Aerospace, Life Sciences, and Pharma companies. He noted that Telangana is home to many French companies.

He claimed that many more companies from France are showing interest in investing in Telangana.

“If any company wants to invest in India and can mention what other states are offering, We will meet their offer or beat their offer,” he said.

Sumeet Anand, President, IFCCI told the conclave that Telangana has a very healthy investment climate with strong leadership, investor friendly reforms, strong cluster competency in key sectors, innovation and digital acceleration along with increased urbanisation and consumption levels.

Payal S. Kanwar, Director General, IFCCI said that Telangana is a key state for French investment in India and can already see the strong and successful establishment of companies like Safran, Sanofi, Mane, Monin, Capgemini, among many others.

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Govt asks Hyd IT companies to open offices but..


Srinivas, coordinator of public health in Telangana, gave a call to IT companies of Hyderabad to open their offices as these companies provide lot of indirect employment. He urged the companies to function in the same way as they used to do prior to Covid 19. However, both the employers and employees are still not convinced with the proposal of the government.

Employers and employees both benefited by WFH:

Even though Work from home concept has been there in countries like US and UK for so long, Indian companies, except for a few product based companies, did not provide this facility for employees until 2020. However, with Corona pandemic, the functioning style of Indian companies also changed and all the companies provided work from home option to their employees. Employees and employers – both benefited with the WFH culture. Employees saved their time and energy as they could avoid long traffic lines and travel, while employers could save their logistic costs. Some companies even passed their cost savings to employees this year in the form of bonuses.

But some others negatively impacted:

However work from home culture impacted negatively not only the small the employees like housekeeping staff, auto drivers and other small businesses in IT corridor, but also negatively impacted real estate business and petrol bunks. It seems, the associations of real estate and petrol bunks are urging Telangana government to open offices. So, the government now wants the companies to open the offices and justifying its decision by citing the indirect employment to small time employees.

Employees are not welcoming government decision:

However, employees are criticizing government on this and say they are not getting any kind of benefits from the government despite paying huge taxes promptly and they don’t get any additional benefit by working from offices. They are adding, the real estate groups in Hyderabad were rising their prices at ridiculously high rates before pandemic and now also the government is opening offices only upon the pressure from such real estate tycoons. They add, contrary to common perception, the work load didn’t decrease because of work from home but it increased a bit more. But still they prefer work from home because it is economical for them.

However, the companies, even though they want to continue WFH, do not want to go against the government and want to open the offices. Some companies have already asked their top management personal to work from offices.

We need to wait and see whether all IT offices in Hyderabad will get opened by the end of the year.

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Gates of Hyderabad’s Himayat Sagar reservoir opened


Authorities in Telangana on Tuesday opened two gates of Hyderabad’s Himayat Sagar as the incessant rains increased the water level in the reservoir drastically.

Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) officials opened two of the 17 gates of Himayat Sagar to let water into Musi river, which runs through Hyderabad.

The flood gates were opened after the water level reached 1,763.15 feet against the full reservoir level of 1,763.50 feet at 11 a.m.

With rains continuing in the catchment area of Himayat Sagar, 2,000 cusecs of water was flowing into the reservoir.

According to HMWS&SB, the reservoir capacity is 2.97 TMC while the water level on Tuesday morning was 2.837 TMC.

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) officials alerted the people living in downstream areas.

The authorities had opened the gates of both Himayat Sagar and Osman Sagar reservoirs last month.

This is also the second consecutive year that the gates of Himayat Sagar have been opened. In October last year, when massive floods had wreaked havoc in Hyderabad, 13 gates were opened.

Earlier, it was in 2010 that the gates of Himayat Sagar were lifted to release flood water into the river.

Meanwhile, a bus of state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) was washed away in flood waters in Rajanna Sircilla district. There was no loss of life as all the passengers were already rescued by the locals.

The bus was caught in flood waters near Maneru Vaagu low level bridge on Sunday. After all passengers were rescued, the rescue workers tried to pull out the vehicle with the help of a JCB but failed. The bus got washed away in flood water and got stuck in the middle of the stream.

Heavy rains lashed north Telangana on Tuesday. Some low-lying colonies in Warangal town were inundated. Rain water entered the houses in some parts of the town, causing severe inconvenience to residents.

Incessant rains also led to flash floods in Nizamabad district. Rivulets, lakes, tanks and other water bodies were overflowing. Officials said some villages were cut off as roads were submerged.

A similar situation prevailed in Nirmal district. Medarawada was marooned due to incessant rains since Sunday. Rescue workers shifted the stranded people to safe places.

As Sriram Sagar project was receiving huge inflows, authorities lifted 18 crest gates to discharge flood water.

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Star Air’s maiden flight connects Hyderabad to Jamnagar


The GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) on Tuesday announced that Star Air has launched its maiden flight service from Hyderabad to Jamnagar in Gujarat.

The service is an UDAN initiative to bolster regional connectivity by providing air connectivity to the travelers to Tier II and Tier III cities.

The inaugural Star Air flight took off from Hyderabad amid a festive atmosphere at the airport. Senior officials from GHIAL along with Star Air officials and other airport stakeholders were at the terminal to see off the passengers and crew.

The flight will operate between Hyderabad and Jamnagar three times a week — Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Star Air Flight OG 150 will depart from Hyderabad Airport at 15.20 p.m. and arrive at the Jamnagar airport at 17.20 p.m. The return flight OG149 will depart from Jamnagar at 9.15 a.m. and arrive in Hyderabad at 11.30 a.m.

“We aim at enhancing regional connectivity and this new air route to Jamnagar will enable more passengers who have waited for the much-needed connectivity for flying to small towns and cities. The UDAN scheme has enhanced the travel experience, especially for first time fliers. We are hopeful that Star Air will be received well and we look forward to exploring more domestic routes,” said Pradeep Panicker, CEO, GHIAL.

Jamnagar, which is popularly known as ‘Jewel of Kathiawar’, is home to century-old palaces and temples. A jewel on the coast of the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat, the city is embellished with rich culture, beaches, wildlife, marine life and delectable Kathiwadi cuisines.

Star Air is the aviation arm of prominent Indian business conglomerate Sanjay Ghodawat Group that has its presence in various high-value business verticals like agro, aviation, mining, realty, retail, FMCG, energy, education, software and textiles.

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Special drive launched to make Hyderabad 100% vaccinated


A special mop-up vaccination drive was launched in Greater Hyderabad on Monday to administer Covid-19 vaccines to all the people left over.

On the first day of the 10-day drive, 26,892 people were vaccinated in the limits of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had directed the authorities to undertake the drive in all 4,846 colonies and slum areas in Hyderabad to make it a fully vaccinated city.

Officials presented appreciation certificates to 264 colonies which have become 100 per cent vaccinated.

On the first day, 175 teams conducted special camps in 448 colonies. According to officials, 23,651 people took the first dose while 3,241 people were given the second dose in the drive undertaken by the GHMC with mobile vans.

Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Health Secretary S.A.M. Rizvi, GHMC Commissioner Lokesh Kumar, District Collectors of Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, and Medchal Malkajgiri districts, and other senior officials supervised the drive.

The Chief Secretary visited a vaccination centre at the Old CIB quarters in Khairatabad to oversee the arrangements made for the special vaccination drive.

During this special drive, a team would visit each and every household and identify those who have not been vaccinated. The team will motivate the people to get vaccinated and they will be informed of the vaccination centre in their area together with date and time in advance. A sticker will be pasted on the door of every household in which all residents have been vaccinated.

Somesh Kumar said that the main objective of this special mop-up vaccination drive is to make Hyderabad a 100 percent Covid vaccinated city. An event will be held in the colony after successful completion of the vaccination drive in the presence of colony office bearers to encourage and motivate the colonies to go for 100 per cent vaccination.

He congratulated the GHMC and health officials for taking up the special vaccination and asked them to make it a success. He also appealed to the people to utilize the opportunity provided by the government and get themselves vaccinated.

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Bonalu celebrated with gaiety in old Hyderabad


Bonalu, which symbolizes the unique culture of Telangana, was celebrated with traditional fervor and gaiety in the old city of Hyderabad on Sunday.

Large number of devotees thronged Sri Simhavahini Mahakali temple in Lal Darwaza, Sri Akkanna Madanna Mahakali temple in Haribowli and other Mahakali temples in the old city.

The main celebrations were held at Lal Darwaza temple where endowment minister Indrakaran Reddy and animal husbandry minister T. Srinivas Yadav offered ‘Bangaru Bonam’ and silk robes to the deity on behalf of the state government.

Speaking on the occasion, Srinivas Yadav said devotees from other states were also participating in Bonalu celebrations.

He said for the first time the state government has provided funds to private temples on the occasion of Bonalu. Earlier, donors were giving money to the private temples but now the government has come forward to help them.

Home minister Mahmood Ali, Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatreya, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president A. Revanth Reddy, BJP state president Bandi Sanjay, veteran actor and BJP leader Vijayashanti, and leaders of various political parties participated in the festivities.

Thousands of devotees including women offered prayers. Authorities made elaborate arrangements to facilitate the movement of devotees.

Special queues were arranged for women, who were seen carrying pots on their heads, to make the offerings to the goddess.

Police diverted vehicular traffic at several points to ensure smooth conduct of the festivities. More than 8,000 policemen were deployed as part of the massive security arrangements. Police were keeping a tight vigil in the communally sensitive pockets of the old city.

The festival will conclude on Monday with famous ‘Rangam’ where predictions about the State’s future will be made by an unmarried woman, followed by the Ghatam procession.

This will be followed by a procession of a caparisoned elephant carrying a portrait of the deity. Smeared with turmeric and vermilion, potharajus dance to rhythmic drumbeats in the procession that will pass through various areas including Charminar.

Authorities have ordered closure of all liquor shops in the city on Sunday and Monday in view of the festival.

Bonalu in the old city is the third phase of the nearly month-long traditional festival.

It began on July 11 at the Jagadambika Temple on Golconda Fort here while on July 25 the celebration was held in Secunderabad.

Public events during Bonalu were cancelled by the state government last year in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, with the lifting of Covid-19 related restrictions last month, the government allowed people’s participation this time.

This year the festivities are being organised with mass gatherings and traditional procession. The organizers have been directed to ensure adherence to Covid-19 protocol, including wearing of masks and social distancing.

Ashada Bonalu is a festival held in the month of Ashada, according to the Hindu calendar, celebrating goddess Mahakali.

Devotees, especially women make offerings in the form of food to goddess Mahakali in specially decorated pots. During the nearly month-long festival, people also hold ‘rangam’ or forecasting the future, organise processions and cultural events.

After the formation of Telangana State in 2014, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had declared Bonalu as the state festival. The festivities reflect Telangana culture with performances by the artistes.

This year, the government has allocated Rs 15 crore for the celebrations. The money was spent to spruce up the temples for the celebrations and for making all necessary arrangements for the devotees.

It is commonly believed that the festival was first celebrated over 150 years ago following a major cholera outbreak. People believed that the epidemic was due to the anger of the Mahakali and began offering Bonalu to placate her.

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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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