The Government of Telangana launched Gram Jyothi program as a logical continuation to Mana Ooru-Mana Pranalika. The objective of the programme is to improve the service delivery to the people in core sectors through the strengthening of the Gram Panchayats by bringing together the efforts of various independent departments. Grama Jyothi aims at synergising the developmental activities of the departments by achieving functional and financial convergence through preparation of Gram Panchayat Developmental Plans. It seeks to exploit the enormous collective energy of the people by making them active partners in the development process, decision making and take good advantage of the social capital at the village level. The goal of Grama Jyothi is to bring in much desired accountability, transparency in the functioning of public institutions working at village level and make them responsive to the needs of the people.
Telangana Water Grid Project
A flagship programme of the government aimed at restoring 46,300 tanks in five years spending Rs 20,000 crore. Works of about 8,000 tanks, costing Rs 3,000 crore, is underway and would be completed before the onset of monsoon. The initiative will improve the ground water table, reduce the power consumption by farm sector, get higher yields, spur the growth of livestock and rejuvenate rural economy on the whole.
A mammoth 1.26 lakh km stretch of pipelines would be laid to quench the thirst of Telangana towns and villages apart from providing water for the industrial needs. Government has sanctioned Rs 4,000 crore for the FY 2015-16 out of a total project cost of 35,000 crore. Panchayat Raj, Rural Development, Rural Water Supply department has prepared the design for the project.
Another flagship programme of the government, Telanganaku Haritha Haram envisages increasing the green cover of the State from the present 25.16 to 33 per cent of the total geographical area. A total of 230 crore seedlings would be raised in the coming three years starting the first week of July celebrated as ‘Green Week’. Fifty lakh saplings would be planted in GHMC limits alone this monsoon. Forest Department and District Water Management Agency (DWMA) have made ready 41 crore saplings for this year. Rs 325 crore has been set aside in the FY 2015-16 for the purpose.
Kalyana Lakshmi/ Shaadi Mubarak
To alleviate financial distress of SC/ST and minority families, Government decided to sanction a one-time financial assistance of Rs. 51,000 at the time of marriage for brides who are residents of Telangana State. Accordingly, Kalyana Lakshmi and Shaadi Mubaarak Schemes have been introduced with effect from October 2, 2014 for unmarried girls, who have completed 18 years of age at the time of marriage and whose parental income does not exceed Rs. 2 lakh per annum. Rs 47 crore and Rs 32 crore disbursed to 9,368 SC and 6,483 ST brides respectively. Another Rs 50 crore was distributed to 10,533 brides from Minority sections.
Telangana government provides one nutritious meal every day to pregnant and lactating women and children below the age of six through Anganwadi centres. The scheme was launched officially on January 1, 2015 by Honourable Chief Minister Sri K. Chandrashekar Rao. For the women, 200 ml of milk for 25 days a month and one egg each day will be given with meal. Children, aged between seven months and three years are provided with 16 eggs a month in addition to a 2.5 kg food packet. For children aged between 3 and six years, one egg a day in addition to rice, dal, vegetables and snacks is supplied.
A total 18,96,844 lactating mothers, 5,18,215 infants and 21,58,479 pregnant women were covered under the scheme expending Rs 627.96 crore in the past year. The quantity of food items supplied under the scheme has also been increased across all the categories.
As a part of its welfare measures and social safety net strategy, the Telangana government has introduced the “Aasara” pensions, with a view to ensure secured life with dignity for all the poor.
‘Aasara’ pension scheme is meant to protect the most vulnerable sections of society in particular the old and infirm, people with HIV-AIDS, widows, incapacitated weavers and toddy tappers, who have lost their means of livelihood with growing age, in order to support their day to day minimum needs required to lead a life of dignity and social security.
The Telangana Government introduced “Aasara” – a new Pension scheme – enhancing the monthly pension from Rs. 200 to Rs. 1000 for the old aged, widows, weavers, toddy tappers and AIDS patients and Rs. 500 to Rs. 1500 for disabled persons.
The government has spent Rs 4,700 crore on pensions benefitting 37, 65, 304 people including senior citizens, widows, physically handicapped, poor & old-aged artists and beedi workers. An increase of 478% over the previous such schemes.
Housing for the poor
This hallmark initiative of the Telangana government is intended to provide quality and respectable housing to the poor. The ‘housing for the poor’ plan provides for two and three storied buildings with the 2 BHK flats in Hyderabad and other urban areas while they are to be built as independent houses in rural areas. A pilot has been taken up at IDH Colony in Bhoidguda, Secunderabad. As many as 396 units – with each comprising of two bedrooms, hall and kitchen – are being constructed in 32 blocks of G+2 on 580 square yards at a cost of Rs 37 crore at 7.9 lakh per each flat.
Land distribution to Dalits
Another significant welfare scheme of the government that provides 3 acres of agricultural land to landless SC women, along with the provision for creation of irrigation facilities, land development and other agricultural inputs for their sustained livelihood. Government distributed 2,524 acres of land to 959 Dalits spending Rs 94 crore in the first year.
A whopping 87.57 lakh eligible families, approximately 2,86,00,000 (two crore eighty six lakh) beneficiaries, are being supplied rice from 1st January, 2015 at 6 kgs per person at Re. 1 per kg without any ceiling on the number of members in the family. More than 1.80 lakh MT of rice per month would be required for this purpose. Rs. 1,597 was being spent on the subsidy.
To arrive at the eligibility of the BPL families, the family income limit in rural areas has been increased to Rs. 1.50 lakh and in urban areas to Rs. 2 lakh. The land ceiling has also been increased to 3.5 acres of wet land and 7.5 acres of dry land.
Government started supplying superfine rice, or Sanna Biyyam, to schools and hostels benefitting 56 lakh students annually with an additional outlay of Rs 120 crore. More than 12,500 MT of rice is being distributed for the purpose.
Strengthening security apparatus
To safeguard and secure the lives of its citizens, the Telangana Government sanctioned an amount of Rs. 271 crore for the purchase of 4,433 vehicles for Hyderabad and Cyberabad Police. Out of these, 3,883 vehicles equipped with modern technology have already been purchased. The number of new vehicles provided to the remaining nine districts in the State is 550. Additionally, 1500 motor cycles have been provided to Cyberabad Police to respond within 10 minutes of receiving a complaint or call. State government has allocated a monthly amount of Rs.75,000, Rs.50,000 and Rs.25,000 to each police station in the city, district headquarters and villages, respectively.
The Government has taken up CCTV project under which one lakh CCTV cameras are planned to be installed in 2015-16 in Hyderabad city. All these cameras will be connected to the proposed Command and Control Centre.
Keeping rising incidents of crime against women in mind, the Telangana government has constituted a seven member committee headed by IAS officer Poonam Malakondaiah to advise it on the measures to be taken for the safety and security of women and girls. The committee submitted its report with 77 recommendations. Forming SHE teams is one of them. The teams keep tab on the eve-teasers and stalkers in crowded places. Initially set up in Hyderabad and Cyberabad police Commissionerates, they were expanded to all the Telangana districts on 1 April following the encouraging results.