Municipal Act game changer: KCR

Says from August 15, TS will witness real-time administration

By Author  |  Published: 19th Jul 2019  6:00 pmUpdated: 20th Jul 2019  12:49 am
Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao (File Photo)

Hyderabad: Telangana State will witness “real-time administration” beginning August 15 this year, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao declared on Friday.

The Chief Minister, who steered the Bill related to Telangana Municipalities Act 2019 that was passed by the Legislative Assembly, said this will be something that the country will want to look at and learn from. He said that during
the past six months, the State had witnessed a series of elections and these will be completed by August.

“From August 15, real-time administration will be on show in the State,” he said. The new Act, he said, is part of the State Government’s steps in its “quest for excellence and reform.” “This is a continuous process. A quest may get completed but the quest for excellence does not end,” he said, adding that existing Acts that are old may not be suitable to meet the current requirements and conditions, and need to be changed as per existing trends.

For instance, the new Act places responsibility not just on municipal officials but also elected representatives as well as citizens. Making it explicitly clear that the Government has faith in the people, the Chief Minister referred to the self-certification provision for people to declare their property tax. But he also issued a stern warning.

The Act, he said, provides for severe penalties to those who misuse this process. “Self-certification is like the Bhagavadgita. Misuse will result in serious punishment,” he said. “If anyone makes a wrong declaration and gets caught during surprise inspections, then they will have to pay a penalty that would be 25 times their assessed property tax,” Chandrashekhar Rao said.

He also said anyone building an illegal structure will no longer receive notices but will see straight demolition of such buildings. “There is no question of sparing anyone,” he added.

“The message that breaking law will never be profitable must be sent to all. A scare needs to be created. The take away should be that breaking law by anyone will be a losing proposition,” he said.

“Every sentence in the Act, I went through carefully and in detail,” he said, adding that the new Municipal and the recently revamped Panchayat Raj Acts were designed to eliminate corruption. “Tablets and tonics are no longer
enough. Surgery is needed. That is why we have enacted tough laws,” he said.

The Government, he said, sometimes has to act like a mother who loves her child but does not hesitate to hand out some punishment which is done only with the sole intention of ensuring the child does not adopt erring ways.

The Chief Minister also allayed fears expressed by Congress MLA Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka that placing many powers in the hands of district Collectors could lead to a situation where some officials may target elected non-ruling party representatives under the Act’s provisions. Chandrashekhar Rao said the powers given to the officials under the Act are for empowering them for better service delivery and eliminate corruption and not for any other purpose.

New house numbers with QR codes in offing

Hyderabad: A new house numbering system would be introduced in Telangana, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao announced on Friday.

Speaking in the Assembly here, the Chief Minister said the new system would also have a QR code on the plate. Each code would be unique and the move is aimed at ensuring immediate access to all basic data of a house to officials. The new system would also help in curbing crime, the Chief Minister said.

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