The Minister for IT of Telangana State, Mr K. Taraka Rama Rao’s Twitter profile reveals how welcoming he is towards people’s suggestions. And, his latest gesture stands as a testimony to his actions once again. On Sunday, a man named Chandra from San Francisco tweeted a few designs to KTR, with suggestions on how to improve the greenery around the Charminar. Impressed with his ideas, KTR asked Aravind Kumar, IAS, Principal Secretary Municipal & Urban sector & Commissioner I&PR, Telangana, to look into the matter. Aravind then quickly got back in touch with Chandra to initiate the talks.
While it is heartening to note that government officials are working on a suggestion from a citizen, do such ideas come up for discussion in their meetings as well?
“Definitely! We follow up on the suggestions and tweets sent not just by the Minister, but also by our own colleagues. We have a dedicated WhatsApp group for every department like Charminar Pedestrianisation Project (CPP), flyovers, parks, lakes, etc. Officials from the concerned departments are part of the group. Since the Minister is also part of the group, he is always in constant touch and alerts us on any such ideas so that we can immediately take them up,” shares Aravind Kumar.
He adds, “Within two hours of Chandra’s tweet, we asked him to send us comprehensive details about uniformity in greenery, and for the pedestrian pathway which leads to Charminar. Recently, Shilpa Aggarwal, an Assistant Professor from Rajasthan shared her ideas on Charminar’s restoration and we asked her to visit the premises. The whole objective of the restoration work is to preserve heritage structures and strengthen them.
There’s no compromise on that, and we are always open to ideas.” Interestingly, heritage monuments are supervised by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). So how can the State Government go about their job on the restoration works? “Buildings like Mozamjahi market, Mehboob Chowk, etc. are not under ASI, but Charminar is. So we inform the ASI through the concerned Zonal Commissioner and carry out the restoration works. Basically, the State Government is doing the work that has been assigned to the ASI. Ultimately, all the efforts are to ensure that we preserve the sanctity and structural strength of the heritage buildings,” he says.
Does the government generally reward people who share their ideas? “We respond to them quickly and that’s a big motivation in itself. We also appreciate and reward people,” says Aravind Kumar....