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KCR announces Delhi-like ‘free water’ scheme for Hyderabad ahead of local body polls

With BJP working to make in-roads in Telangana, KCR has also promised free power to barber shops, salons, laundry shops and dhobi ghats across the state.  

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Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao Monday announced free water supply for Hyderabad from next month but added that it would apply to consumption of up to 20,000 litres.

The free water is part of the sops in the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti’s manifesto for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), scheduled to be held on 1 December. 

Releasing the manifesto, KCR, as the CM is popularly known, said the free water scheme will be operational from 1 December for households in the GHMC limits.

“This consumption limit would cover about 97 per cent of people; our study shows that hardly 3 per cent people are beyond that limit,” he said in a press conference. “Any residential colonies using beyond 20,000 litres, water tax will be levied on them. A similar method was implemented in Delhi and it was successful. We would be the only city after Delhi to do so; I had spoken to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to discuss the same.” 

The government is also working to provide a 24-hour water supply in the coming days, KCR said.

In other sops, the chief minister announced free power supply to all barber shops, salons, laundry shops and dhobi ghats across the state. He also promised a waiver in Motor Vehicles Tax to the tune of Rs 267 crore for transport vehicles.

Speaking at the press conference, the chief minister said cinema theatres have now been allowed to open in the state with standard operating procedures. Theatres have been allowed to increase shows and revise rates like in other states such as Karnataka and Maharashtra. 

Reacting to the TRS manifesto, Union Minister and senior BJP leader, Kishan Reddy, said there is no difference between the one released today and the previous one in 2016.

“It is exactly the same, word to word, even the photo — everything is the same as that of 2016,” Reddy said. “We and the people of Hyderabad thought that the ruling party would discuss the previous manifesto and point out all what has been implemented so far — such as the 2BHK scheme and others.  They’ve not implemented any promises in 2016 and they’ve written the same ones in the new manifesto.”

Also read: Banned in 1988, this ‘religious’ practice still forces Telangana’s Dalit women into sex slavery

Sops amid a BJP push in Telangana

KCR’s sops come amid a strong show by the BJP in the state, which won the recent bypoll in Dubakka, the chief minister’s bastion. The BJP is looking to consolidate its position and has appointed national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav, Karnataka Health Minister K. Sudhakar, Maharashtra MLA Ashish Shelar and the Gujarat secretary Pradipsinh Vaghela to oversee preparations for the GHMC elections.

The party had also roped in central leaders such as Union Minister Prakash Javadekar and the BJP Yuva Morcha chief and MP Tejasvi Surya for the campaign.

Since the BJP charge, KCR has upped the ante. He once against pitched for an anti-BJP national coalition of parties on 18 November and followed it up with a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 20 November, in which he called for competitive exams to be made available in regional languages.   

On Monday, he spoke of the country needing new political direction. 

“It is my responsibility to tell people that the party that is ruling the nation and the one before that have been utter flop,” he said. “They only tell stories … There is a need for a new direction. Both the parties have no capacity to generate revenue … Like I mentioned earlier, like-minded parties will soon get together … I had spoken to other leaders.”

Also read: In Hyderabad civic polls, test for TRS-AIMIM ‘friendship’ as BJP makes it key plank


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