Hyderabad: The Telangana Municipalities Bill, 2019 and the Telangana Civil Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2019 were passed unanimously in the State Assembly here on Saturday.
Explaining the provisions of Telangana Municipalities Bill, 2019, Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister K T Rama Rao said some provisions under the existing acts had become redundant and non-relevant due to changing times.
More importantly, there was no proper use of technology to its optimum level for the convenience of citizens. To make the administration in Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) more transparent, time bound and accountable besides preparing budgets in the ULBs in a scientific matter, it was essential to bring out a new Telangana Municipalities Bill, 2019, repealing the earlier Acts, he informed the House.
During the question hour, Law Minister A Indrakaran Reddy clarified that the State Government had no plans to shift the Telangana High Court from the present premises in the Old City.
The Health Minister E Rajender said currently 50 hearse ambulances were being operated across the State. Of these, 30 were being operated in Hyderabad. If need be, more hearse ambulances will be introduced for the convenience of citizens, he said.
Cong faces awkward moments in House
Congress on Saturday faced some uncomfortable moments in the Legislative Assembly when it received a scolding from Speaker Pocharam Srinivas Reddy who disapproved the opposition party’s allegation that the State government took advantage of its absence in the House to quickly pass the Telangana Municipalities Act, 2019.
Party MLA D Sridhar Babu, during a discussion on budget demands of various departments, said he and his party were pained that the Act was passed in the absence of Congress MLAs from the House. Sridhar Babu alleged that the Government Whips failed in floor coordination with non-ruling party members as they were not informed of the Bill being introduced. “We were at the Media Point speaking to reporters about our dissatisfaction with an earlier reply on the ITIR issue, when the Bill was introduced and passed,” he said.
The allegation was strongly rejected by Legislative Affairs Minister V Prashanth Reddy who said the government did not act with the intention of passing the Bill when Congress members were not in the House. “Had we been informed that they were going to hold a press meet at that time, we would have informed them,” he said, and dismissed the Congress allegations that the government and TRS Whips were in the wrong. “If there are genuine errors on our part, we will correct them,” he said.
The Speaker then pointed out to Sridhar Babu that the proceedings of the House were being conducted as per the agenda for the day, which was circulated to all the members. “All of you got the agenda. We are going by it. It is your responsibility to be present. Even if your party was addressing the media, some of you could have been in the House. I request you to withdraw that word. We respect you and there was no intention to pass the Bills without your presence,” he said.
Congress Legislature Party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka immediately clarified that his party colleague’s comment was not aimed at the Speaker. “We asked to be allowed to protest on the ITIR issue, but were denied the mike. Then we went to speak to the media. All we are saying is that when we were out protesting, the minimum courtesy on part of the government is to inform the floor leaders. We are holding the government responsible, not you,” he said.
The opposition party also found itself going silent after informing the Speaker that no action was taken on its anti-defection petitions on its MLAs announcing their intention to join TRS. Srinivas Reddy made it clear to Sridhar Babu, who raised the issue, that “The petitions submitted by Congress were examined, studied and disposed. There is nothing pending with us”.
Gandra Venkata Ramana Reddy, one of the 12 Congress MLAs who joined TRS, rejected that they defected to the ruling party. “The 12 of us merged with TRS as per Constitutional norms. Sridhar Babu should withdraw his comments about the Speaker not taking any action,” he said.