Hyderabad has emerged as one of India’s best cities to live and work in during recent years. The dynamic city which saw a long phase of darkness with scheduled power outages for several hours every day during the regimes between 2009 and 2014 saw light again as KCR’s TRS formed government in the State and transformed it into a power-surplus region. The city started buzzing again and this time with more vigour. The city’s high-rise “hi-tech” areas started attracting more investment from IT and multinational companies which resulted in more employment opportunities for the youth. The State has consistently ranked top on the “Ease of doing business” criterion and become the no.1 investment destination.
The city has seen visible improvement in civic infrastructure, apart from the growth the twin cities have witnessed in the IT and industrial sector in the past six years. Commuters in Hyderabad have been provided with more travel options with the introduction of the Hyderabad Metro Rail and the project is seeing more expansion in its second phase. Traffic bottlenecks across Hyderabad have been eased with Strategic Road Development Project (SRDP) as the State spent Rs.20,000 crore in the first phase of its implementation. The second and third phases will see project’s implementation across all zones in Hyderabad. Around 37 link roads, of a planned 127 roads, have been completed to cut travel time between home and office.
The ruling party has also been addressing the water needs of its people with the same speed at which the real estate sector has been expanding in the city. A recent friendly banter between city’s top investor Anand Mahindra and KTR earned praises for the Minister for his responsiveness when the Minister replying to a tweet on water crisis said: “We have already ensured that over 90% of city water issues are addressed @anandmahindra Ji. Also soon launching infra works for next 30 years of growth & needed water requirement of HYD including dedicated drinking water reservoirs & interlinked grid of Godavari & Krishna water”. The quick response from the IT Minister earned praise from the chairman of Mahindra who noted: “The speed of your response gives me even more hope for the future of the city…@KTRTRS “.
Telangana Chief Minister and TRS party president K Chandrashekhar has promised to supply drinking water up 20,000 litres per month free of cost from December to every household living under Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation limits. He also promised free power to salons and laundries and Dhobi Ghats besides waiver of tax on transport vehicles for six months (April-September). Coming to the rescue of industrial units and commercial establishments the TRS chief said it would waive minimum power demand bill for a period of six months from September as the commercial shops and industries suffered due to lockdown.
Elections to the city’s civic body – the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) are scheduled for December 1. Telangana’s ruling party TRS, which has put Hyderabad back on the development trajectory, mostly occupies the seats in the GHMC Council. TRS had won at least 99 seats in the 2016 GHMC elections.
Elections to the civic body have always witnessed the energy and activity seen during any civic polls in the metropolitan cities of India. But the kind of activity and energy being seen this year are more remindful of State or General Elections. There is literally more noise than the explosions of Diwali crackers this year with pro-BJP and “Modi..Modi” songs blaring out of campaign vehicles in residential localities of Hyderabad (which do not quite illustrate the kind of “peaceful” living the residents of Hyderabad may want to hear being promised during a civic body election). There is more noise from BJP than what other less financially privileged parties can actually afford.
The BJP which does not have much presence in Hyderabad and Telangana is going all out to set foot in Hyderabad after its recent victories in Lok Sabha elections and the Dubbaka bypolls. The party has made its intentions very clear i.e. to establish itself as a major party in Telangana and rule the state in the coming years starting with the state’s capital. To achieve this, the party has invited “star campaigners” from the very cities Hyderabad beat to emerge as “best city to live and work in”. With the party not having many great issues to challenge the ruling TRS on, its campaigners have only managed to push BJP’s communal agenda with talks about “doing surgical strikes” and removing “Rohingya Muslims” from the old city, and renaming Hyderabad (a 16th century Muslim name) to “Bhagyanagar” in line with BJP policies of hate seen in other cities.
Telangana’s ruling TRS has however vehemently pushed back BJP’s efforts to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in the city by asking its leaders to “Campaign extensively on welfare and development work taken up by the TRS government in the last six years. This is sufficient for ensuring victory to the party,” Rama Rao told them.
KCR the patriarch of Telangana who even risked his life to achieve the dream of seeing a “Golden Telangana” once again has been transforming the city for the best with his vision and policies. Hyderabad has been pushed on the roadmap of peace and prosperity. “Hyderabad is a happening city…. What kind of city we want…Unstable city or peaceful one?” TRS has asked.