For Hyderabadis, laws are meant to be broken

List of regulations by the government, objections and DC's take on them.

Hyderabad: Regulations being introduced by the Central and state government for good governance is regularly being protested and the public is refusing to implement the same.

For instance, jewellers protest the PAN card rule, which is being made mandatory for purchase of jewellery above Rs 2 lakh. School heads are refusing to install CCTV cameras to monitor examinations while teachers’ associations are against the state education department introducing the SMS system to learn the details of students. There is a growing trend of non-acceptance among the public, who don’t like accountability and transparency in the system, yet demand the same from the government.

Professor M. Pandu Ranga Reddy, an economist says, “Government agencies are charged to issue regulations setting specific standards to achieve goals spelled out by law. Allowing the public to comment on proposals for regulations or on the terms and conditions may aid in future enforcement activities. People can contribute knowledge that will help devise rules or issue permits that are feasible. In addition, they can review the regulations with an eye on future enforcement efforts, but not opposing anything that is in interest of the public.

“For any regulation, there should be a litmus test, the government should check if the rule is affecting the common man or befitting the larger population. If it passes this test, the rule should be implemented. People should react like responsible citizens. If it is hurting the larger interests of people it should be opposed. On the other hand, even the government should clear all doubts of the public, there is nothing wrong in seeking feedback from citizens. Citizens are naturally afraid of any new development, the state should clear their doubts,” said Professor B. Subbarangaiah, director of Veda IIT.


Why hospitals are reluctant to register?

The state government decreed that all the 2,500 small hospitals must register with the Commercial Taxes department. This registration will allow officers from the Pollution Control Board, Fire department, Commercial Taxes, Service Tax, Labour and other departments to check records of the hospital.

TS Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association refused to register stating that they are registered with the District Medical and Health department whereby their medical standards are checked. They claim that the hospitals are not “huge commercial set-ups” and registering with the department would lead to unwanted harassment.

Registering with the government will ensure stricter discipline and bring these hospitals under the ambit of law. With small hospitals also having patients who are not insured a majority of the costs are being borne by patients. With healthcare now being a commercial enterprise, it is important that the hospitals register and regularly update their books of accounts.


Park as you like

No Parking signboards are placed in busy areas to regulate the flow of traffic.

The No Parking signboards are kept in the most inconvenient places. It is difficult to walk a long way to our destination. Parking must be made available near major shopping complexes, banks, hospitals, railway stations and bus stands. It is a nightmare to park our vehicles safely or find a parking place in the city. Autorickshaw drivers are the biggest culprits as they wait on busy routes blocking traffic while haggling over fares or waiting to pick a fare. Vehicles waiting to pick someone at busy locations are the ones who must be punished.

The traffic pol-ice should be stricter when it comes to this menace. Obviously, cops can’t be hovering around every nook and corner of the city, hence this is where civic sense and common sense come into play. The onus is also on traders to ensure their customers have space to park.


Why helmets? it’s our heads, not yours

Following a directive from Hyderabad High Court, the TS Transport department announced the helmet rule. As per Section 179 of the MV Act, both the rider and the pillion have to wear helmets. The department educated motorists before enforcement of the rule.

Members of the Telangana Two Wheeler Riders' Association (TTWRA), in a protest against the helmet rule, announced travelling to Chennai by flight and returning to Hyderabad by train wearing helmets.

Mr Amanullah Khan, convener of TTWRA said, “The rule is discriminatory as it does not apply to drivers and passengers of autorickshaws, cars, buses, trains and plane.” The members feel that the rule should be scrapped as the main cause of head injuries is bad roads.

The use of helmets is defined under the Motor Vehicle Act 1989. People may feel discomfort but a rule is a rule. At present, the city traffic police is fining riders with no helmets Rs 200 each time. A quality helmet would cost Rs 700 to Rs 1,000, and investing in helmets is safe and wise.

“It’s a question of life, a slight head injury can be fatal. If some people feel uncomfortable, there are different types of helmets to try.”

— Professor N.V. Ramana, of the Civil Engineering department of JNTU added

Pan CardPan Card

Pan card for buying gems and jewellery worth over Rs 2 lakh

The Centre made it mandatory to quote PAN for all transactions above Rs 2 lakh. This is applicable on all sale and purchase of goods and services and for all modes of payment from January 2016.

An all-India bandh by traders who protested the PAN card rule was observed. Mr Kailash Charan, president of the Twin Cities Jewellers’ Association said, “There are around 22.5 crore PAN card holders, (14% of the total population). The responsibility of verifying PAN cards is given to the jeweller, which is practically impossible for such purchases . The industry saw a drop of 30% since January 1, 2016.”

Quoting PAN will help create an audit trail of all high-value transactions by one particular individual and help the tax department determine if it is in line with the declared income of that person. A senior official from the state revenue system added, “This will help the government widen its tax base, curb the circulation of black money.”

Street DogsStreet Dogs

No more a dog’s life

Stray dogs should be sterilised as per the method envisaged in Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001 and be released back in the area they were picked up from. A survey must be done by an independent agency on the number of street dogs. Street dogs cannot be beaten, dumped elsewhere, driven away or killed as per the Indian animal welfare laws.

Animal rights NGOs are against the flouting of norms by GHMC in sterilising stray dogs, inhuman handling by GHMC dog catching units, poor conditions of dog pounds, transfer of dogs from one area to another and lack of manpower and will for quick, efficient and safe sterilisations.

The GHMC should get a survey done to get an estimate of ward-wise stray dog numbers, start sterilisation campaigns in a strategic manner from the most-affected wards, take the help of veterinary surgeons of the Animal.

Husbandry department for sterilisation operations, improve infrastructure of dog pounds and publish reports on the progress being made.

Keep short messaging out of service, please

The Ranga Reddy collector passed orders to implement an SMS system to know the daily details of students’ attendance and Mid Day meal served. A number — 7331142115 — has been introduced for school heads to send the information.

Objection :
The Joint Action Committee of teachers’ organisation has threatened to boycott special classes for SSC students if the SMS system is not revoked. State secretary of teachers association M. Chennaiah said, “Hundreds of schools fall in Ranga Reddy district; how can a teacher SMS all the details: the system will add to workload and disturb revision classes.”

The SMS system is a task for the school heads and for the department monitoring it.

Ms Anitha Raj, a former state government teacher said, “Now that technology is there, why is there no electronic record of such details? It cannot be done manually.”


Playing music loudly in public places

Playing music on loudspeakers, including at night, is regulated and punishable under Section 268 of the Indian Penal Code for causing public nuisance and also under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.

Cutting across religious lines, some people annoy their fellow citizens by playing loud music, speeches and sermons on loudspeakers, which irritates and annoys people and also affects their health.

The police should not be a mute spectator to noise pollution violations and public nuisance. Everyone is equal before the law irrespective of religion and should be booked as per law. The Pollution Control Board authorities should come out on to the field and book cases for noise pollution, which is becoming a problem as serious as air or water pollution.


Public urination

Public urination is a crime under GHMC Act and one can be fined up to Rs 500.

Rarely is anyone booked for public urination as the city’s walls are streaked with urine and streets stink. Resident welfare associations have been raising the issue to no avail. Lack of clean and functioning toilets at strategic locations is a major problem.

GHMC should ensure that public toilets are not only constructed at strategic locations, but also maintained hygienically. The talk of bio toilets will not help if they do not function. While men relieve on walls, women suffer as there are no toilets in bustling markets.

Rash on road is drivers’ right

As per the Motor Vehicle Act, motorists are liable to be booked and penalised for rash driving. As per the Act, enforcement agencies cannot only levy penalty for rash driving but can also suspend the driving licence and prosecute the guilty for imprisonment.

Telangana Autorickshaw Drivers’ Union leader Mr B. Venkatesham said cases of rash driving were booked against even the two-wheeler riders and car owners, then why blame auto drivers? In the heavy city traffic, autorickshaw drivers try to transport people on time to their respective destinations. TSRTC National Mazdoor Union leader Nageshwar Rao said just because the buses were big, people blamed the RETC drivers. In reality, RTC buses were the safest mode of transport on roads because the drivers were trained.

Rash driving is not only dangerous for the person who is driving but also poses a threat to the lives of other road users. All categories of motorists should avoid rash driving, more so the auto and RTC bus drivers because they carry a large number of passengers.

Dig up roadsDig up roads

We will dig at our own will

As per the GHMC Act, every agency, company, firm, government department, group or individual needs to take permission from the civic body to dig up roads. However, this provision is violated with city roads continually being dug up.

The Water Board and power utility officials say that they have no choice but to dig roads to lay drainage and water pipelines or else they will be blamed for leaking drains and overflowing sewerage on roads. Also, there is a threat of drinking water getting polluted.

Power utility officials have their own take on the issue stating they take permission for digging and also pay restoration charges to GHMC. and if the civic body does a shabby restoration job, they can't be blamed.

Laying of water and sewer pipelines is not only important but a priority too in the interests of the citizens. But wasting taxpayers’ money by frequently digging up roads, including new roads, is purely due to lack of coordination and planning among the officials of various public utilities. Unnecessary digging up of roads can be avoided with improvement in planning and better coordination among the departments, thereby saving crores of public money.

Speed BreakerSpeed Breaker

Will hurt your back to break your speed

GHMC, in consultation with the traffic police, gives permission for laying of speed-breakers depending upon the volume and category of traffic on the road. But people resort to laying speed-breakers at their will in lanes and bylanes.

Local residents defend laying of speed breakers without seeking permission as a “safety measure”. According to them, speed breakers slow down the movement of vehicular traffic and reduce the possibility of accidents.

Speed breakers should be laid only where there is a real need. A scientific study should be conducted whether the speed breaker is needed or not. Unnecessary laying of speed-breakers is a waste of money.

Auto Rickshaw MeterAuto Rickshaw Meter

Autos charge extra

Auto drivers are not supposed to charge more than what the meter reads, but the rule does not stop them from overcharging and harassing passengers.

General secretary of Telangana Auto Drivers Samakhya, A. Sathi Reddy, said autorickshaw drivers charged more mostly to destinations from where there was no guarantee of getting a fare in the return direction. “If a person hires an auto from Gandhi Hospital in Secunderabad and goes to Medipally on the city’s outskirts, the autorickshaw has to come back empty. In such a case what is wrong in seeking a little more?” he asked.

The government has fixed the minimum charges of Rs 20 for the first 1.6 km and thereafter Rs 11 for every km and also 50 paise per minute waiting charges. Meanwhile, many auto drivers rig the meter and install a small wheel so that the meter runs faster. Autorickshaw drivers should understand that not every passenger is in a position to pay the extra amount and they should abide by the fixed meter charges.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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